Celebrating our Nurse Practitioners

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10-16 December marks Nurse Practitioner Week 2018

They’ve been working across Australia for 18 years and are the most senior clinical nurses in the nursing workforce.

With the expertise to diagnose and treat people of all ages with a variety of acute and chronic health conditions, nurse practitioners can:

  • prescribe medications
  • design and implement therapeutic regimens
  • order diagnostic tests and interpret the results
  • initiate referrals to relevant health care providers

Perhaps most importantly, they identify and respond to existing service gaps in a variety of health care settings – in rural and remote, community or hospital environments. The role allows experts to stay clinically focused and keep on a clinical career path.

This Nurse Practitioner Week, we’re celebrating stories from our community of Nurse Practitioners in the UTS Faculty of Health, our students and alumni

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Rochelle Firth – NP (Neurosurgery) and Course Coordinator of the UTS Master of Nurse Practitioner

“I became a Nurse Practitioner because I wanted to continue to work directly with patients and carers, helping them navigate their health admission and improving the experience they had. I wanted some way of using my expert knowledge on direct interactions with patients.

In my role, I’ve helped bridge the communication and knowledge gap between patients and families and health care teams. By coordinating care within the team, I’m able to advocate the patients’ individual needs and then provide “whole team” communication back to the patients. I’ve been able to be an expert resource, easily accessible to patients, families and the health care teams.

My position as Nurse Practitioner at Royal North Shore Hospital was the first model of care utilised in Neurosurgical units in Australia. It’s provided additional senior & expert clinical resources at the ward level on coordinating clinical care.”

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Megan Ronan – UTS Master of Nurse Practitioner student

“I’ve worked as a Registered Nurse in Emergency for the last six years and have worked in all areas of the ED, as well as in management and education roles. Reflecting on my experiences, I’ve found that I most enjoy working in a clinical capacity and interacting with patients.

About a year ago, I was speaking with a friend who had just secured a Transitional Nurse Practitioner role. She was sharing some stories with me and it sounded so interesting. It got me thinking that maybe I could do it as well. Soon after, I enrolled in the Nurse Practitioner degree at UTS.

What do I hope to achieve as a Nurse Practitioner?

Working in Emergency, I constantly see patients who present with non-urgent injuries or illnesses, especially after hours. They end up experiencing long waits to see a doctor because patients presenting with more urgent concerns naturally take priority.

I think there is potential to employ Nurse Practitioners in nurse-led after hours clinics, so that patients have more options than to present to the ED when medical centres are closed. I hope to do something along these lines in the future.”

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Emma Everingham – NP (Movement Disorders, Neurology Department) and UTS Nurse Practitioner Alumni

“I’m a movement disorders nurse practitioner in the Movement Disorders Unit in the Neurology department at Westmead Hospital, after initially starting there three years ago in a new position as a deep brain stimulation nurse practitioner. My role has expanded since, and I also provide a collaborative nurse practitioner clinic once a month.

I’m passionate about nursing – particularly neuroscience nursing. I am committed to improving how we care for our patients, from enhancing communication, education, carers’ support and integrating evidence-based practice.

As a nurse consultant or registered nurse, I always felt that I had so much more to offer to patients, families and the health system, but my role was restricted. As a nurse practitioner, you’ve got much more leeway to really improve what you do for your patients.”


Are you a Registered Nurse looking to extend your advanced clinical skills and complex critical thinking? Become an expert in your field. The UTS Master of Nurse Practitioner is accredited under the new ANMAC Nurse Practitioner Accreditation Standards.

Find out more about the Master of Nurse Practitioner at UTS

Related: Nurse practitioner role opens doors for senior clinicians

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