Eastern Institute of Technology Head of Nursing Rachael Vernon is excited to have received a prestigious Fulbright New Zealand Senior Scholar Award to undertake research in the USA.
The Fulbright programme’s highest award is open to applicants who are New Zealand graduate students, academics, artists and professionals. Rachael is the first nurse in New Zealand to receive the prestigious scholarship since 1977.
She is now fine-tuning plans to spend four months of next year based at the University of California San Francisco where she will be looking at competence frameworks for nurses in the USA and Canada.
Rachael was lead researcher for a high-profile team of internationally recognised health and research experts commissioned fifteen months ago by the Nursing Council of New Zealand to evaluate the framework to ensure New Zealand nurses are competent to practise.
The research was ‘a nice fit’, she says, with her doctorate work through the University of Sydney, investigating the influence of legislation and policy on nursing practice, including the notion of ‘competence to practice’.
Like New Zealand, Australia, the USA, Canada and the UK have their own competence frameworks for nurses, and Rachael is hoping to develop a consensus model that can accommodate an internationally mobile nursing workforce.
To achieve that, she says, it’s important to understand the different models and the relevant legislation in each country and in particular the various states and territories in the USA and Canada.
“I am interested in issues that surround competence frameworks and the legislation that influences them. Worldwide, limited analysis has been undertaken to date.”