Health Workforce New Zealand’s (HWNZ) branch of the National Health Board is where you will find information and resources that may help you if you are an employer thinking about employing a Nurse Practitioner.

It provides information on:

·         What can an NP offer?
·       How many NPs are already registered in NZ?
·       What qualifications does a nurse require to become an
·       What does and NP actually do?
·       How can NPs help to fill gaps in service provision?
·       How would I know if it would help us to employ an NP?
·       How do I go about getting an NP?
·       How can I prepare my services for the changes that will 
        come with an NP role?
·       Can I employ an NP from another country?
·       Core components of a NP Trainee Programme (NPTP)
·       Release time the trainee needs
·       Graded responsibilities involved in a NPTP
·       Practice environment the trainee needs
·       Requirements for supervision


Nurse Practitioner:  A Health Future for New Zealand
:  This 2009 publication shows the vital contribution NPs can, and are already making to the health of New Zealanders and their communities around the country. It also demonstrates how well NPs are working with other health professionals.

pdf Nurse Practitioners - A Healthy Future for New... (1.99MB)



The Nurse Practitioner online video profiles two NPs in different settings, one in rural Northland and one based at Palmerston North Hospital. The film lasts for 10 minutes, and is recommended viewing for employers, nurses, NPs and consumers of health care services in New Zealand.

NP Video

Journal Article

New Zealand Doctor December 2013

Number crunching: NPs in General Practice

 pdf NPs in general practice (1.42MB)


Supporting the Development of NP's in your service - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I can’t see how we can fund an NP role?

The NP model is still rather new to New Zealand.  Ideally, many NP roles will work with patient populations across sectors.  Traditional models of funding and purchasing health services may restrict the ability of an NP to deliver and practice to their full extent.  Innovative practice requires flexibility in both funding and employment models which may take some persistence to develop.  The first step is to identify the current and potential funding streams. Due to the diverse areas in which NPs can work, a number of options may be investigated. NPs are not restricted to one funding stream or one budget due to their boundary spanning roles.
Around September, October and November each year DHBs Planning and Funding divisions are involved in prioritisation of funding for the next years annual planning round. This means that funding proposals for that funding stream need to be prepared early. In many DHBs the DHB provider arm must also prioritise their own funding proposals that go forward for consideration. To be prioritised, proposals must demonstrate strong links with DHBs strategic priorities and articulate how they will assist with the achievement of priority outcomes. 

  • Contact other services who have established NP roles and find out how they have funded the position
  • There are examples of business case proposals and an example business case tool kit in the Do you Want to Become an NP page.

I have nurses, who want to be NPs, but the services are not able or prepared to change work structures to employ them; how do I progress this?

Introducing a new role within an established multidisciplinary team can be challenging but support from colleagues who can see the benefits is required for the change to succeed.  The NPAC-NZ Business Case Tool Kit will assist in thinking through the issues and preparing a case to be presented to the service.  Leadership from the Director of Nursing will be important for successful change. You will need to have created a business plan and proposal, and maybe a job description.  A proposal will show the cost benefits to the service. Some NP roles in NZ have been proposed as 6-12 month pilots.  Whilst we could create NP roles everywhere if there was surplus money this is never the case, so NP roles will have to show the financial benefits to the service.A key to introducing the new role may be to engage a stakeholder group for the short term, with health professionals (internal and external) as well as community/ patient representation. This will address a number of issues:

  • Many health professionals (including nurses) don’t have a clear understanding the NP role.
  • There may be ‘overlapping’ areas of practice which will need to be identified and worked through. It may be helpful to look at how other NP roles are operating.
  • External relationships the NP will have to interact with, such as pharmacy , laboratory and radiology services. What is the level of understanding in these areas of NP scope?
  • Do the patients and the wider community understand the role and how they will use the service?

Preparing the wider team for the introduction of a new role is vital to aiding any team and work/ role transition period, so early inclusion in the process will be beneficial.

I think an NP is a good idea, but how do I convince the service group and funding managers?

It is necessary to prepare a business case to clearly articulate your reasons for NP employment and funding and implement a sound change management process.
You must clearly identify and demonstrate strong links with DHBs strategic priorities and articulate how they will assist with the achievement of priority outcomes. Remember to work through the following questions:


  • Have you comprehensively described the population area and health needs?
  • Does the current service delivery model address the health needs of the identified population?
  • Is the current service delivery model cost effective and efficient?
  • Are the current healthcare practitioners being used to optimal effect or would another health practitioner be more appropriate?
  • Has the identified population currently got equal access to healthcare?
  • Are the patients and community receiving optimal care from the current model of service delivery?
  • How will an NP address the need you have identified?

This should be presented in the form of a business case or proposal.

How can I support nurses who want to become NPs? Where do they get support and advice?

Here are some ideas and routes to investigate in relation to NP activity:

  • If you are interested in the Nurse Practitioner career pathway the best place to start having discussions is with your Director of Nursing for your district/ Nurse Leader for your organisation, any other senior nurse who is committed to the NP role or any NPs within your service.  If you cannot find anyone within your district/service look outside your district/service to an area where there is a strong commitment to the NP role. You can use the link on the Nurse Executives website for a list Directors of Nursing

  • Click to see the Nursing Council approved programmes for the NP pathway  Please approach one of the tertiary education providers providing an educational pathway for NP for advice.

  • Click to see NP scope of practice on the Nursing Council of New Zealand website 


Areas of Interest