Melbourne Welcomes Its First Aged Care Nurse Practitioner
16 January 2015
Aged Care Reviews
Aged Care Reviews congratulates Cheryl Donohue, Melbourne’s first aged care nurse practitioner.
As a means of delivering quality care to the growing aged population in Melbourne, Cheryl Donohue has become the metropolitan area’s first aged care nurse practitioner. She brings her 25 years of nursing experience to the elderly and diverse population in the region.
Northern Health, the key provider of public healthcare in the northern part of Melbourne, will use Donohue’s skills to ensure that they deliver the highest quality of care possible to this population. “Nurse practitioners at Northern Health play an important role in the community by delivering more immediate access to required services while being a role model to their peers,” said Greg Pullen, Chief Executive Officer of Northern Health.
“Having Melbourne’s first aged care nurse practitioner is another valuable resource enabling us to provide quality health service to our diverse community,” he added.
What is an aged care nurse practitioner?
The general definition of a nurse practitioner is someone who can treat certain medical conditions without the direct supervision of a doctor. An aged care nurse practitioner like Cheryl Donohue is qualified to provide a comprehensive geriatric assessment. This is used diagnose common ailments or conditions in an elderly group of people. She will also be able to treat health problems and conditions that fall within her scope of practice, the procedures, actions, and processes that fall within her professional licensure. This includes prescribing certain medications and admitting or discharging patients from the facilities within the Northern Health campuses.
What are the requirements to become a nurse practitioner?
A licensed nurse practitioner must complete a Master’s degree in nursing along with additional courses in pharmacology and their area of specialty, in this case aged care. There is a period of clinical supervision and professional mentoring before a license can be issued.
What does this mean for Melbourne’s Ageing Residents?
Donohue’s appointment to Broadmeadows Health Service, part of Northern Health, is a positive development for Melbourne. It demonstrates that the region is building upon the 2011-current study evaluating appropriate models of practice to help facilitate the development of more aged care nurse practitioners. This allows for more patient-centered, in-home care, something that has been advocated for and proven to be the most appropriate and effective model in recent studies.
Based on this research and based on the results and early feedback from patients and health care professionals in her region of practice, it would be encouraging to see more professional nurse practitioners like Cheryl Donohue in Melbourne and other Australian cities.
Image: Couresty of Bupa