Living on the north coast New South Wales with her husband, Anne Moehead NP feels privileged to have the opportunity to care for all the people she has known over many years. She hopes, as an NP specialising in Psychogeriatric care, she has made a difference in their lives, and wants to be able to continue providing holistic care for them, their families and carers.
Tell us a little bit about your nursing journey.
I have worked as a nurse for 46 years, generally in mental health, and over the past 30 years I have been working specifically with older people in mental health and dementia. I am a team member of the local Acute Geriatric Service, and it has been a wonderful experience to be a part of a dedicated team of colleagues.
Currently, I am working in a rural setting on the north coast of New South Wales. I am based mainly in the acute care hospital, but also deliver outreach services to more isolated communities and residential aged care facilities.
What influenced your decision to become a NP? Why did you choose your scope of practice?
I have had many years of experience working in the speciality areas of dementia and aged care, and I found myself regularly providing management advice to my colleagues who would frequently contact me, seeking my opinion.
I was of the opinion that I should be responsible for the advice I was giving out, and realised that becoming a NP would help me achieve that. Furthermore, one of my senior medical specialist colleagues encouraged me to pursue the NP career. I eventually decided to undertake Masters of Older Persons Mental Health, and later became endorsed as a NP in Psychogeriatric care.
As a NP, I believe I can deliver an entire episode of care from diagnosis, management, discharge and community follow up, ensuring people have access to the necessary community supports to keep them safe. I am a very strong advocate and voice for my patients.
What are you hoping to achieve in your current role as a NP?
I hope to continue providing clinical care and management for my patients, but to also influence my younger nursing colleagues to undertake NP masters and continue to make a difference for the patients in our care.
I also would like to exert continued influence on the decision makers, governments and peak bodies to improve the quality of care we deliver to our ageing population especially in the light of the Royal Commission into Aged Care that is happening now.
What advice do you have for anyone wanting to become a NP?
Above all there must be a strong commitment and a focus on studies to become a NP. Have belief in your ability and skill and develop credibility amongst your colleagues. Support from family and the workplace is also paramount.
For my NP colleagues, I believe that we, as NPs, who are at the pinnacle of clinical care and provide leadership in whatever the chosen speciality is. A profound influence is achievable for those who wish to make a difference and believe in their ability to do this.
How do you think health consumers will benefit from seeing Nurse Practitioner?
Consumers will benefit from having an experienced NP who is credible and who can deliver clinical care that is evidenced-based and is supported by literature and current health information.
NPs can provide value, be readily available and have time to spend with the consumer. NPs approach to the delivery of clinical care is underpinned by nursing theory, thus it is very unique and different from a medical model – this is one of the strengths NPs bring to consultation.