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 The impact of innovation funding on a rural health nursing service: The Reporoa experience.

Margaret Connor, RN, PhD, Research Fellow, Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health, Victoria University of Wellington

Katherine Nelson, RN, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health, Victoria University of Wellington

Jane Maisey, RN, MN, Nurse, Health Reporoa Inc.

Connor, M, Nelson, K. & Maisey, J. (2009). The impact of innovation funding on a rural health nursing service: The Reporoa experience. Nursing Praxis in New Zealand, 25(2), 4-14.

Abstract

Health Reporoa Inc. offers a first contact rural nursing service to the village of Reporoa and surrounding districts. From 2003 to 2006 it became a project site through selection for the Ministry of Health (MoH) primary health care nursing innovation funding. Health Reporoa Inc. successfully achieved its project goals and gained an ongoing contract from Lakes District Health Board to consolidate and further expand its services at the close of the funding period. This paper examines the impact of the innovation funding during the project period and in the two years that followed. The major impact came through an expansion of the accessible free health service to the local population; advancing nursing practice; increased connection to the nursing profession and wider health community, and
enhanced affirmation of the nursing contribution. The rural nursing service model developed at Health Reporoa, through the benefit of innovation funding, can now act as a blueprint for other rural health services, particularly those in high deprivation areas.

Key Words: Primary health care, rural nursing, innovation, advancing practice.


Introduction

Reporoa is a rural community in central New Zealand (NZ) where a small group of nurses provide a first contact primary health care (PHC) nursing service to the local population.
Health Reporoa Inc. (HR) was one of 11 projects that secured Ministry of Health (MoH) primary health care nursing innovation funding in 2003- 2006 to extend the services  provided. The funding of the 11 projects had its origin in the PHC Strategy (Ministry of
Health, 2001). The Strategy indicated the future direction of PHC in New Zealand and the importance of the nursing contribution in this direction. An evaluation of the 11 projects was also funded by the MoH (Nelson, Wright, Connor, Buckley, & Cumming, 2008 in press; Primary Health Care Nurse Innovation Evaluation Team, 2007). This article, co-authored by
two members of the evaluation team (MC, KN) and the senior nurse at HR ............cont.

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