Dr Jed Montayre, a nursing lecturer at AUT, and Sarah Williams, a community child health nurse consultant at Auckland District Health Board, are delighted and honoured to have been selected for the International Council of Nurses’ Global Nursing Leadership Institute 2018 programme.

Williams is studying for her Doctorate in Health Sciences, with her research project examining the relationship between health services and education in primary schools from an education perspective.

She says the ICN leadership programme arrived at an exciting time for her doctorate and her current role, as its aim was to help enhance nurses’ effectiveness in influencing policy change as well as building competence and understanding of the health policy process.

Montayre, who trained in the Philippines before moving to New Zealand in 2011 and gaining his PhD in 2015, said he hoped the programme would help equip him with skills and confidence to bring the nursing voice to the policy-making tables.

“Nursing has reached significant milestones as a profession, however in this age of tight funding, emerging government priorities, and socio-economic challenges in a global scale, It is high time for nurses to be well-equipped in understanding how policies are made, be actively involved in policy-making,” he said.

“There is no such thing as being too ambitious around this or being too involved in policy. Our day-to-day nursing practice tells us nurses that something needs to be changed in our practice with the policies that govern these practices and within the environments we are currently working in.”

He said nurses being involved in government policy and strategy consultations was really important, for example the national health strategy, as well as supporting submission by professional bodies on areas like the End of Life Choice bill, the healthy ageing strategy and being involved in translational nursing research that informs future policies.

“I strongly uphold what Oestberg said: ‘As nurses, we need to think of policy as something we can influence, not just something that happens to us’.”

The  five-month programme includes a week-long residential workshop in Geneva in mid-September with the aim of building nurses’ professional, political and policy leadership skills so they can help shape, influence and implement policy decisions. Participants are from across Africa, Australasia, North America, Asia and Europe.

Williams leads Whare Hauora initiative for primary school health services

Sarah William’s doctoral research follows on from her previous role running the DHB’s nurse-led Mana Clinic at Wellesley Primary School.

When Williams left Mana Clinic to become a nurse educator for Starship’s Community Child Health service, she continued to believe in the importance of having physical spaces for nurses in high need primary schools in order to provide health services.

Working in collaboration with others, she initiated a project three years ago that led to the opening this month of Starship’s first ‘Whare Hauora’, a partnership between health and education made possible through the support of the Starship Foundation. The Whare Hauora is an in-school, semi-permanent health clinic that provides a fit-for-purpose space for nurses to deliver health care to children at Panmure Bridge School.

“Experience had shown us that having a nurse available in the primary school space greatly supports children who have health issues that are preventing them attending school or engaging in learning activities,” said Williams. “This approach works even better if there is an appropriate facility for our nurses and others to use.”

Williams said the Starship Community Nurses are working from the school three or four times a week and previously had to work from whatever space was available, which might not have been child or nurse friendly.

“In schools where you have a lot of referrals you need an appropriate space  – if you are asking a nurse to work there for a full day, it needs to be a pleasant place to work in and an inviting place for children to come to as well.”

She said Starship and its partners hoped to roll out two more Whare Hauora next year, working in collaboration with other high-needs primary schools.

The Whare Hauora contains a small waiting area, a private treatment space where patients are seen and office space at the rear for administration. It measures around 7.2 metres long and 3 metres wide and is similar to a shipping container, making it easily relocatable.

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