National Nurse Practitioner Training Programme (NPTP)

The Ministry of Health now funds the NPTP as a national programme to commence in 2021.

Three providers – the University of Auckland, the University of Otago, and Victoria University of Wellington – will be delivering the NPTP across New Zealand. Nurse Practitioner training will be provided through a coordinated programme between the partner universities.

All applications are submitted through this application process with the indication from the applicant on which university they will complete the programme.

Entry criteria

Applicants for the NPTP funded programme must:

  • Have completed a minimum of three years' equivalent full-time practice within the last five years, with at least one of the three years in full-time practice (0.8FTE or higher) in New Zealand and in the area of practice that the NP will be employed
  • Have completed the prerequisite courses including advanced health assessment, pathophysiology, and pharmacology, and preferably with a B grade average or above (including any required grades for specific courses)
  • Be a New Zealand citizen or hold a New Zealand Permanent Resident Visa
  • Be a registered nurse with a current New Zealand practising certificate and be in good standing with the Nursing Council of New Zealand
  • Have identified a clinical supervisor (NP or senior doctor) who is willing to mentor the attainment of the advanced skills and competencies required for NP practice
  • Be educationally prepared to complete the masters programme at the end of the practicum year or have already completed a masters programme (Please verify your eligibility for masters completion with the university you are applying to complete the NPTP.)
  • Provide their employer's signed declaration of support on letterhead to allow clinical release time and study days and hire them into an NP role (minimum of 0.6FTE) once registered

Pathways

Since the launch of the nationwide NPTP, there has been some confusion for students regarding NP pathways. A statement is attached which helps to clarify the situation and briefly outlines the two funding pathways, NPTP, and Postgraduate Nursing Funding.

NPTP objectives

  • Prepare experienced nurses for NP registration and employment as an NP in practice.
  • Provide a pathway within the approved programmes that is specifically designed for prospective NPs.
  • Support 500 hours of closely supervised supernumerary clinical time to achieve the advanced nursing competencies needed for NP registration such as advanced health assessment, diagnosis, and treatment implementation, which includes prescribing of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment.
  • Align the NP registration processes of the NCNZ with NP education and subsequent employment.
  • Employer commitment to employ NP (minimum 0.6 FTE) once registered following successful completion of the NPTP.

Training places and priority workforce areas

The NPTP is open to trainees from all clinical settings in New Zealand. Fifty NPTP places are available in 2021.

The priority areas for developing the NP workforce include primary health care, community and residential settings, mental health and addiction, Māori health, Pacific health, populations with high health need, rural and hard-to-reach areas, and communities with high deprivation.

An overarching goal of the NPTP is to increase the number of Māori NPs, and the number of Pacific NPs.

Ultimately, the aim is to improve equity through access to NP services.

Clinical practice requirements and supervision

  • Each student will have identified a clinical supervisor (NP or senior doctor) who is willing to mentor the attainment of the advanced skills and competencies required for NP practice.
  • The student is required to have negotiated the availability of a clinical supervisor for the duration of the practicum prior to acceptance into the NPTP.
  • A secondary placement (minimum of 80 hours over the year) will be necessary once accepted into the NPTP. The secondary placement will be relevant to the intended area of clinical practice and should broaden their clinical decision-making skills in practice. The course director or academic mentor will assist the student in organising secondary placements.
  • At least one of the clinical supervisors (primary or secondary placement) must be an NP.
  • The NPTP provides designated funding to facilitate release time for supernumerary learning and study day attendance and acknowledge the clinical supervisor's time commitment to mentoring.
  • Employers will allow a minimum of 500 hours (16 hours per week) clinical release time from regular work responsibilities to undertake advanced clinical practice, plus attendance at university study days.
  • Written agreement from the employer must be provided with the application to confirm clinical release time, clinical supervisor availability, attendance at study days, and commitment to employ the student as an NP on registration (minimum 0.6FTE).

Key steps in the National NPTP

  • Orientation in early February.
  • Site visit with academic NP mentor and clinical supervisor within 4 weeks of start of the programme to review the practicum placement objectives and to complete formative clinical assessment.
  • Completion of Semester One coursework by early June, including:
    • Summative assessment achieving clinical competence at the advanced beginner NP level.
    • Case studies
    • Learning activities
    • Clinical assessment examination (OSCE-type exam).
  • Completion of Semester Two coursework by mid-October, including:
    • Case studies
    • Learning activities
    • Summative competency assessment for NP competencies at a competent NP level.
    • Mock Nursing Council panel assessment
    • NP portfolio prepartation and submission for assessment in mid October.
  • Submission of NP application and portfolio to NCNZ in early November.
  • NP panel assessment, conducted by NCNZ, either end December or late January.

Funding

The following funding is available to providers and trainees to support the trainees’ successful completion of the NPTP.

Funding to support NPTP Amount per trainee per year
500 hours of clinical release time $15,000
Clinical supervision allowance at the main placement $5,600
Study day release time to attend a minimum of 12 study days/year $3,000
Course fees for 60 credits Fully paid (fees vary per university)
Travel and accommodation to study days and to secondary placement experience Discretionary contribution, depending on trainee’s location

Additionally, further funding may be available to support:

  • Access to professional development to develop competencies in mental health and addiction for those working in primary health care settings.
  • Māori students to access cultural and professional support from postgraduate diploma to entry into NPTP and completion of NPTP.
  • Pacific students to access cultural and professional support from postgraduate diploma to entry into NPTP and completion of NPTP.

Application process

Please ensure your application is fully completed, including selecting the university of your choice.

All applications are to be submitted to the University of Auckland to the via the online form below by 22 October 2020 at 5pm.

Shortlisting will be undertaken by the NP course directors of the three universities and interviews will take place through the university you have applied to in the first two or three weeks of November. You will be informed of the decision by mid-December.

Contact

For further information about applications, please contact: postgradnursing@auckland.ac.nz

For any other information on the NPTP, please contact: 

Sandra Oster
Nurse Practitioner and Professional Teaching Fellow, the University of Auckland
Email: s.oster@auckland.ac.nz