Media Release 30 January 2018
Nurses empowered to utilise full scope of skill
NZNO welcomes tomorrow’s enactment of the Health Practitioners (Statutory References to medical Practitioners) Amendment Act. Detail of legislation is here.
NZNO chief executive Memo Musa explains that clinical nurse specialists are qualified to carry out many tasks that have been unnecessarily restricted to doctors. Nurses can now sign death certificates, prescribe controlled drugs and sign sick leave certificates for example.
“In a modern health system nurses should not operate as a doctor’s second in charge but be enabled by the removal of longstanding and draconian red tape,” Memo Musa said.
“These amendments mean more nurses can readily improve public access to some medicines, and are enabled to work to the full breath and scope of practice.
“It is often easier and quicker to see a nurse than a doctor so this change means more people in the community can benefit by accessing health care sooner.
“We congratulate all those that worked on these watershed changes and particularly thank the Nursing Council and the Office of the Chief Nurse for their commitment to get this modernisation across the line.
“In addition, it is encouraging to see the Minister of Health has his sights set on addressing bottle necks and problems in primary healthcare as he clearly realises this will ease up hospital loads and improve community wellbeing,” he said.
Media Enquiries: NZNO media adviser Karen Coltman 027 431 2617.