Nurse practitioners: our super nurses boosting patient care

WSLHD Nurse Practitioner Network Symposium attendees.

A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with the experience and expertise to diagnose and treat people of all ages who have a variety of health conditions.

They can work independently, prescribe medication, order pathology, refer to consultants and request investigations. They perform examinations, management and tests similar to what the doctors do.

More than 35 nurse practitioners from WSLHD and the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Randwick connected at a symposium recently to collaborate and create relationships across the Westmead Health Precinct.

Westmead Hospital’s Neurology Department nurse practitioner and event organiser Emma Everingham hopes this inaugural event will become an annual event to boost communication between the hospitals.

“Nurse practitioners are expert nurse clinicians or as I call them ‘Cream of the Crop’. WSLHD has 28 nurse practitioners who work within our hospitals and community health centres,” Emma said.

“They make a real difference across our health facilities, providing expert clinical care in collaboration with our medical teams, allied health services and with our patients and their families.

Mount Druitt Hospital Children’s Ward nurse practitioner Monica Rossi.

Symposium attendee and Mount Druitt Hospital Children’s Ward nurse practitioner Monica Rossi has spent her nursing career working with children and their families.

“In my first week in the Children’s Ward at Mount Druitt Hospital I had three children admitted with malaria. I thought where on earth have I landed?,” Monica said

“As a nurse practitioner you fill the holes that exist in a service. I participate in handover with the doctors each morning, and we prioritise clinical needs and divide up the workload.

“I do more what the doctors do rather than what the nurses do.

“I like to make sure each child and family have the quickest and best care and treatment,” Monica said.

The World Health Organisation has declared 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

WSLHD will be celebrating the first nurse practitioner in Australia so stay tuned!

For further information about nurse practitioners contact Emma Everingham at