December 6-12 is National Nurse Practitioner Week!
Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are the highest qualified clinical nurse in Australia. With a master’s degree and an extended scope of practice, they can independently assess, diagnose, order and interpret tests, prescribe medications and refer to other health professionals. NPs also have a role in leadership, research, and education. So, we think they’re pretty darn cool!
In celebration of National Nurse Practitioner Week 2021 Nicole Hutchinson is taking some time to reflect and appreciate the role of NPs and the support of her colleagues:
My name is Nicole. I currently hold the role of NP in the Metro North Specialist Palliative Care in Aged Care Project, supporting residents, families, General Practitioners, and residential aged care staff to support people with complex palliative care needs. I was also recently appointed to the role of Co-Chair, Queensland Palliative Care Clinical Network, where I aim to provide leadership as an NP and promote the profession across all settings.
I have more than thirty years of nursing experience working in adult acute tertiary and quaternary hospitals, public and private settings, and in the community, initially working as a registered nurse in adult generalist, respiratory and neurology nursing. I gained a passion for palliative care while working as the statewide Motor Neurone Disease Clinical Nurse Consultant where I recognised a gap in the availability of palliative care for people with non-malignant disease. This was one of the motivations to undertake a Master of Nurse Practitioner studies. After being endorsed as an NP in 2018, I broadened my experience in specialist palliative care by working with The Wesley Hospital specialist palliative care team as the hospital’s first NP.
I am very proud to be a NP and thank all of my colleagues this week especially, for all of the work that you do in supporting the wellbeing of those requiring palliative care, as well as promoting the profession in the way you perform your role, each and every day. NPs work not just in palliative care, but also in other areas such as mental health, renal, respiratory, neurology, alcohol and drug services, sexual health services, neonatal, paediatric and adult emergency care - to name just a few!
Thanks, Nicole for sharing your story. We share your appreciation for NPs and all who support them in their work. We wish all Nurse Practitioners a very happy National Nurse Practitioner Week!