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Me he tē Helayna!

Congratulations Helayna!

Ruatoria Practice Nurse, Helayna Higgins, also known as Daisy to the community, has recently earnt her RNPCH tohu!

She can now assess and prescribe some medications over and above the current Standing Order medications that some nurses can currently issue, under the NZ Medicines Regulations for Designated Registered Nurses.

We got to meet with Daisy recently, to chat about how her mahi and journey towards becoming a Registered Nurse prescribing in community health.

Where did your nursing journey begin?

Growing up at home playing pretend with my sister, she would always be the teacher and I would always be the nurse. There's no other nurses in my whanau, there's doctors but no nurses, so it started there. I didn't want to work in the forces which if you go to school here, would be what they'd push you towards.

I left Ruatoria in 1987 to pursue a nursing career. All my nursing was in tertiary institutions. Returning home 15 years ago as a nurse was something I thought I would never do and came with challenges. Some people didn't (etc).  I have felt privileged to come home and work with my whanau and to give back to my community.

How do you find working in a rural setting?

Being isolated, that's the most challenging thing I have found working here. Having worked in hospitals all my life, where you're well supported and have access to clinicians, to then coming here and being so isolated, and at times, without doctors and having to run nurse-led clinics has been especially challenging.

What enticed you to go towards your RNPCH qualification?

I had a friend who had completed the course last year and she said I should look into it. I found that as my role as a Practice Nurse, I looked at the course as an opportunity to build on my knowledge as a Prescriber, and I could see the value this course would have, to fill my kete with more knowledge, allowing me to be a lot more accountable for my prescribing. It allows our patients to be able to access healthcare much better, be treated earlier and easier, and in turn improve their healthcare outcomes. Having this tohu certainly compliments my role as a Practice Nurse.

Do you have any acknowledgements?

I couldn't have done the nurse prescribing training without my colleagues and our doctors, especially Dr Elina Pekansaari. She was so supportive and believed that we could do it.

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