Ani Tomoana: Registered Nurse Prescriber and Nurse Educator - PHC

Between juggling her Nurse Practitioner training, two jobs, mentoring Māori nurses and being a mum, Ani Tomoana is the first to say she doesn’t have much down time.

“My whole year this year is about study and work, it’s very intense,” says Ani, Totara Health Flaxmere Registered Nurse Prescriber.

Having completed her Master of Nursing in 2021, the Hawke’s Bay born-and-bred nurse is in the midst of Victoria University’s Nurse Practitioner Training Programme, a highly competitive programme that accepts 50 candidates each year.

“Really it’s to increase access to timely and appropriate healthcare services for the community,” Ani says.

At Totara Health, Ani splits her time between seeing patients in the acute respiratory clinic, and seeing those with long-term conditions such as diabetes, gout, high blood pressure and heart disease, many with a combination of two or more conditions.

As a Registered Nurse Prescriber, Ani can already prescribe limited medications for common ailments and issues but nurse practitioners have the authority to prescribe from a longer list of medicines.

“I think it’s a natural progression,” she says of becoming a nurse practitioner.

Also Nurse Educator Primary Healthcare at local primary health organisation Health Hawke’s Bay, Ani is passionate about encouraging new nurse graduates to work in the community and in primary healthcare.

“Because we know that’s where the need is.”

She has helped develop programmes for new graduates held at Hawke’s Bay Hospital Clinical Skills Laboratory, where nurses can do various case scenarios to practice their clinical assessment skills.

“We run through acute conditions that we will see in primary healthcare such as sore throats, skin infections and urinary tract infections; it’s more scenario based, role play exercises,” she says.

She also works with Eastern Institute of Technology, providing support for student placements.

Providing mentorship for Māori nursing colleagues, to help them navigate the education pathway, is a passion for Ani outside her paid roles. This has been inspired by her gratitude to her clinical and academic peers for the mentorship they have provided to her.

“They have supported me throughout all of my pathway, and seeing them being able to make a difference has been an inspiration.”

Once she completes her NPTP, booking some much-needed downtime in the form of travel, is top of Ani’s to-do list.

“We travel any chance we can get out - we really love Asia so will probably head back there.”

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