In her latest blog, Jan Adams, nursing director summarises some of the hive of activity going on at Pinnacle as we begin 2021.
Happy New Year! I hope you all managed to have a well-deserved break over the holiday season. Relative to other countries, we have been so very lucky to enjoy a great summer, the outdoors and activities with families and friends - I’m so pleased I live here.
I’m sure we are all hoping 2021 looks different to 2020, but with COVID-19 still a major feature around the world, we will need to be ready in case another wave hits New Zealand. That means checking your practice’s preparedness to move to a virtual environment, checking your PPE stocks and preparing for the red / green zone splits again if needed.
The nursing team (Hilde, Ngaire, Jessica and I) met beginning of January to start planning for the year and to look at how we will deliver on Pinnacle’s nursing strategy. We have a lot to do this year and our focus remains on the five key areas of the strategy:
We’ve developed an action plan so we can keep on track. We have also set up an email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) so you can contact the team with queries - we look forward to hearing from you!
We have revamped our clinical governance approach for 2021 and the first meeting will be held in February. Following that we will send out a quick update on the meeting and items discussed – clinical governance and quality are everyone’s responsibility and also link with practice Foundation and Cornerstone standards and accreditation. Should you need any help or support for any projects or quality initiatives, please contact me or Michelle Bayley, Clinical Governance Manager.
It’s the time of the year we start preparing for student nurses to have experience in primary care. Students are a key part of our workforce of the future and we encourage you to consider placements. They add real value to the services we offer as we add value to their learning.
In addition to the usual providers, from February this year we have University of Waikato students looking for places – these are the first cohort of the new degree programme aimed at preparing students to practice in primary and community care settings, mental health, Māori health and acute care. It’s a very different focus to the current courses that prepare students largely for a work life in hospitals and acute services. There will be a fee paid per student per day to the practice and we are very keen to hear of practices wanting to be involved. Please email me directly with your interest.
The University of Waikato is also keen to secure some clinical tutors for the course who are minimum Post Graduate Diploma (or Masters degree) qualified and who will work clinically with the students. Again, please email me directly.
Newly graduated RNs are an important part of growing our nursing workforce and succession planning. We are fortunate to have a number of these nurses employed in our general practice network, four of who are part of our 2021 Pinnacle new graduate nursing programme, commencing in February.
Three of these placements are in Waikato at Health Te Aroha, Mahoe Medical Centre and Cambridge Medical Centre, and one is in Taranaki at Tui Ora.
Practices that employ new graduate nurses who are not on the Pinnacle new graduate nursing programme are invited to be part of the peer and preceptor support groups and we welcome you to contact Ngaire Signal if you wish to be part of these.
Our Pinnacle programme works collaboratively with the local DHB NeTP programmes, supporting nurses through their transition year in a safe and supportive working environment. More information on the programme can be found on our website.
Moving on from student nurses, many of you will be thinking of postgraduate pathways, and again, we are very keen to know what help and support we can give you on that journey. With a range of knowledge and experience, we are well placed to support you and help shape your future aspirations.
One of the key workforce strategies for many practices over the last few years is growing the nurse prescribing roles: Nurse Practitioner (Masters to NP); designated prescriber in primary and specialty teams (specialty Diploma); and, as of August 2020, Pinnacle is a Midland Collaborative partner certified by NCNZ to deliver the designated RN prescriber in community health recertification programme (non post graduate level pathway). The information for this programme and links to post graduate study options can be found on the Pinnacle website and you are also welcome to talk to any of us.
There are plenty of opportunities for education this year, and we'll keep you informed via our online calendar and weekly newsletter. This year we'll be adding a Journal Club, run via Zoom and every second month. We hope to see many of you at these Zoom sessions and are keen to hear from you if you’d like to present or you have presentation ideas. We are focused on sharing articles as opposed to significant research, so we're not aiming for this to be too academic!
Following on from the successful nursing leadership series held last year, we’re planning another Zoom series, which we will run over a six to seven-week period. I am locking in topics and speakers and will send out more details soon. Feedback from the leadership series was very positive.
Another activity in the pipeline is the second Pinnacle nursing conference to be held Saturday 20 November 2021 – why not put the date in your diaries now! We will create an organising committee soon, so if you are interested in being part of that or have ideas of topics you would like included, please let us know.
Did you know we have a Pinnacle Facebook nurses discussion group? It’s a great way to connect with your colleagues and we now have almost half of the 450+ nurses using it for queries, to connect with us, to comment or share information within a respectful and private forum. We would love you to join too and it’s another way of staying in touch with important issues.
Finally, the team has agreed we will write a couple of articles for publication on the work undertaken last year with the leadership series, the nursing conference and the Zoom link ups during the COVID-19 lockdown. We learnt a lot over the year and enjoyed engaging with you in diverse ways.
Thanks for all you do every day for our communities – nursing is truly at the heart of everything we do.