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First to achieve nurse practitioner status in Women's Health - Waikato DHB

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Lauren Moore is the first to achieve nurse practitioner status in Women’s Health at Waikato DHB thanks to her passion for colposcopy and dedication to learning.

There are only five nurse practitioners in New Zealand specialising in women’s health out of the total of 447 nurse practitioners on the Nursing Council’s register. Nurse practitioners are highly skilled health professionals who completed a programme of advanced education, clinical training and demonstrated competency. They have the legal authority to practice beyond the level of a registered nurse. Becoming a nurse practitioner involves having at least a masters degree, four years’ experience in the specific field of practice, and completing an intense programme of clinical learning and assessment.

Moore said that she knew her nursing niche was colposcopy 10 years ago when she was in her final nursing student placement in Waikato DHB’s Women’s Health Clinic with Dr Narena Dudley as the colposcopist.

Five years later, after working as an nurse in many different specialties, in different hospitals and even different countries, she came back to Waikato DHB as a nurse in the gynaecology inpatient ward and started working towards a Masters of Nursing. She went on to take a position in Women’s Health Clinic, and later became lead colposcopy nurse and a clinical nurse specialist.

"After a couple of years, I knew in my heart that I needed to do more. I was passionate and dedicated to colposcopy and I wanted to become a nurse colposcopist/nurse practitioner," Moore says.

"I was mentored by many clinicians, training as a smear taker, a colposcopist and nurse practitioner simultaneously. My main mentors were Dr Narena Dudley as my medical clinician and my colposcopist trainer, Lynnie Baines who is nurse practitioner in ED, and Jane Jeffcoat as my academic nurse practitioner mentor.

2019 was a very long and hard year for Moore, with 500 hours of clinical experience as a nurse practitioner candidate before successfully completing the Nursing Council’s nurse practitioner panel interview in late January 2020.Remove featured image

Moore said she was excited by additional opportunities ahead, such as gynaecology clinics and nurse hysteroscopy training.

Chief nursing and midwifery officer Sue Hayward says Waikato DHB is at the forefront of developing nursing roles such as nurse practitioner/nurse colposcopist which are valuable in improving services and enhancing the nursing profession.

What is a colposcopy?

Colposcopy is a detailed examination of the cervix usually following an abnormal smear result. A colposcope is a small microscope inserted in the vagina to view the cervix. A tissue sample is normally taken from the abnormal area and sent for laboratory examination.

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