Nurse Practitioner and Enrolled Nurse Service Establishment Programme going strong

Monday 14 June 2021

EN and NP programme Melissa Peterson.jpg

Last year saw the start of a Ministry of Health funded programme to deliver a national Nurse Practitioner Training Programme (NPTP) and support the establishment of both nurse practitioners (NP) and enrolled nurses (EN) in primary healthcare and community settings, where they deliver mental health and addiction services.

Mental health and addictions have a significant impact on the wellbeing of people living in Te Tai Tokerau. The purpose of the Nurse Practitioner and Enrolled Nurse Service Establishment Programme is to improve access to early intervention mental health and addiction screening. It supports ENs and NPs to develop the knowledge and skills to provide a holistic model of care in primary health and community settings. Equity, and achieving equitable outcomes, underpins the programme.

The programme is funded to December 2024 and is a partnership between the University of Auckland (School of Nursing), Mahitahi Hauora PHE; The Fono; Victoria University of Wellington; and the University of Otago. Other key partners are Te Rau Ora; Te Ao Māramatanga - NZ College of Mental Health Nurses Inc; NPNZ (Nurse Practitioners New Zealand); and the Enrolled Nurse Section (NZNO). The initiative is being led by Mahitahi Hauora PHE in Te Tai Tokerau.

Six months into delivery, there is growing understanding and interest in the opportunities a wider nursing workforce model, which includes enrolled nurses and nurse practitioners, presents to improve whānau health outcomes. Mahitahi Hauora is working closely with the community and healthcare providers to understand how we can support and build their capacity and capability to deliver healthcare that meets the needs of their whānau.

We have a newly approved EN apprenticeship model that will support people to continue working in healthcare providers while completing the EN programme, and funding has been approved to establish an NP model with skill development to deliver holistic services, including early intervention mental health and addictions screening.

We launched a video in May at the Annual Enrolled Nurse Conference in Dunedin to support the understanding of the EN scope of practice and some of the terrific care that is already being provided in the community. The video is available on the Mahitahi Hauora channel on YouTube, and an NP video is under development.

On 26 July, Mahitahi Hauora will hold a two-hour hui on EN primary care workforce employment opportunities for those who have an interest in becoming an enrolled nurse or nurse practitioner in primary healthcare, and for healthcare providers who are interested in these roles. If you are interested in attending, please contact EN/NP Workforce Development Programme Regional Coordinator Coral Wiapo at

Following the hui, a nursing workforce roadshow will be launched in the week beginning 9 August and will be held in Dargaville, Hokianga and Kaitaia. If you would like to learn more about the career pathway of an enrolled nurse, registered nurse, nurse prescriber or nurse practitioner, please contact Coral Wiapo for more information.