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News: HB’s first Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner

News: HB’s first Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner

Michelle Rodda has become the first palliative care nurse practitioner in Hawke’s Bay, something she’s been working on for the past two years with the support of her team at Cranford Hospice.

Nurse practitioners are advanced nursing roles which require significant experience, a master’s degree, completion of a portfolio and a comprehensive interview process to pass, before being registered with the Nursing Council.

“Becoming a nurse practitioner is about the completeness,” Rodda said, “you can see someone, diagnose them, prescribe the right drugs and follow up their care.”

For Cranford Hospice, the benefits aree obvious. Rodda can sit both in the medical and nursing teams. Having a nurse practitioner means the hospice can reach more people, especially in rural communities including Central Hawke’s Bay and Wairoa.

“Geographically isolated areas still need really good palliative care and being a nurse practitioner means I’m able to offer advice and support in a really practical and helpful way.”

She can go out and visit a patient who needs a medical review, as well as being able to put a foot in the nursing role where needed. At any one time, Cranford cares for around 200 people in both the community and in its inpatient unit, so having someone who can fit into both worlds supporting patients is invaluable to providing quality endof-life care.

Cranford Hospice clinical services manager Karen Franklin said: “Michelle is an inspiration to other nurses who are thinking about advancing their practice.

“With a lot of hard work, determination and a team around you, your dream can be a reality.”