Primary healthcare news, information & resources

Get accredited for your nursing abilities

A Hamilton primary healthcare nurse is celebrating achieving expert level accreditation on her first attempt.

Chrissy Simmonds from Glenview Medical Centre has demonstrated her skills and experience over a six month period to gain Expert Registered Nurse accreditation, as part of the Professional Development and Recognition Programme (PDRP).

She now spends most of her time offering specialist diabetes services at the south Hamilton practice, finding it an incredibly rewarding part of her job. Chrissy is now on the pathway to becoming a prescriber.

"I'm thrilled to get accepted on my first attempt, it was a challenging but incredibly rewarding experience, and it's a good way of recognising that nurses are working at a high level professionally," she said.

"It has been taxing with all the study, but incredibly fulfilling. The key to being able to do it was receiving great support and assistance from the practice team. I was not only given time and space to study, but also earned a level of trust from the doctors to take the lead in delivering these services."

"For patients, it means that we can keep them in primary care. Diabetics can get ongoing treatment in a more timely fashion from their usual health providers."

"With the rising demands on both primary and secondary care, we are going to have more specialists working at the primary level, and this qualification is a key part in ensuring that we can deliver these services."

PDRP is a unique feature of New Zealand nursing and has been part of nurses' professional development for more than 20 years. The programme assesses nursing practise against competencies, recognises level of practice and supports ongoing professional development. The PDRPs provide assessment and recognition for nurses at competent, proficient and expert level.

A main part of achieving the qualification was collating a portfolio for Chrissy to demonstrate her practical knowledge and experience.

"I was told to apply for expert level, but it wasn't until I had written up my practical experience that I realised I was working at this level and it was time to have a go," says Chrissy.

Midlands Health Network workforce and education lead Priscilla Van Oorschot said that this is a great example of the expertise and professionalism in primary practice. 

"Whether you're at competent or expert level, we would love to see more Pinnacle nurses participate in PDRP and be acknowledged for their hard work and individual level of practice," she says.

For more information, contact Priscilla Van Oorschot by emailing

Photo: Chrissy Simmonds from Glenview Medical Centre encourages other Pinnacle nurses to get recognised through the Professional Development and Recognition Programme. 

Latest News