Journal of Professional Nursing

A Clinical Audit of a Nurse Colposcopist. Colposcopy: Cytology: Histology Correlation  

Georgina McPherson, RN, PG Dip (Adv Nursing), MN (Hons) Colposcopy Nurse Specialist, National Women’s Hospital, Auckland District Health Board 
Margaret Horsburgh, RN, EdD, MA (Hons), Dip Ed, Associate Professor of Nursing, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland 
Catherine Tracy, RN, BN, PG Dip (Nursing), MHSc (Hons) Programme Advisor, Auckland District Health Board

Reference:  McPherson, G., Horsburgh, M., & Tracy, C. (2005). A clinical audit of a nurse colposcopist. Colposcopy: Cytology: Histology correlation. Nursing Praxis in New Zealand, 21(3), 13-23.


The role of the nurse colposcopist has been established in some countries for a number of years. At National Women’s Health the first New Zealand nurse colposcopist training programme was developed in 2000. A clinical audit was undertaken to assess the diagnostic skills of the nurse colposcopist measuring colposcopy: histology: cytology correlation. A retrospective audit of the colposcopy clinical records was performed during the nurse’s training programme between July 2000 and March 2002. An 82% (82/100) histology: cytology: colposcopy correlation was achieved by the nurse in the third phase of her training programme. The results are comparable with other reported studies involving medical and nurse colposcopists. Expertise in colposcopy examination can be incorporated into the broader role of a Nurse Practitioner working in the area of women’s health. 

Nurse colposcopist, colposcopy, advanced nursing practice

Since the introduction of the National Cervical Screening Programme (NCSP) in New Zealand there has been a decline in the incidence and mortality of cervical cancer (New Zealand Health Information Service, 1999). Similar decreases have been demonstrated in North America, Australia and England where organised cervical screening programmes are available (Bosch, de Sanjose, Castellsague & Munoz, 1997). Women are advised to start cervical screening at aged 20 and should continue until aged 70. It is recommended women should have three yearly cervical smears to reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer (NCSP, 1999). Approximately 6 - 7% of New Zealand women have cervical smear abnormalities, the rate among Maori women is reported as 8-9% (Ministry Of Health (MOH), 2002a). … cont 

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