Nurses empowered to utilise their skills
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. Nurse practitioners 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,”