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A website for young nurses and the young at heart in Aotearoa

Clinical Nurse Advisor

David Anderson

RCompN, DipNurs, MN, PGCert ICU, PGCert Education, PGCertHSc, NZRC Instrutor.


Role and what it entails:

 Clinical Nurse Advisor (CNA) - We provide after hours senior nursing support to nursing and medical staff. We, along with an ICU and medical registrar make up the emergency response team for code calls - medical emergencies, cardiac arrests and obstetric emergencies. We also, along with security attend all violence and intimidation code calls and assist with restraint

How I came to be in the role:

Prior to this role I was clinical charge nurse of the cardiovascular intensive care unit.

My nursing background is mainly acute cardiac.

I originally started as a hospital aide in paediatric cardiology and intensive care at green lane hospital whilst completing my RCompN programme.

Upon graduating I started as a new grad in paediatric cardiology before moving to the Cardiac intensive unit.

I did the usual OE and had the pleasure of working in the Chelsea and Westminster Intensive care where I completed a post grad cert in ICU.

Upon returning to NZ I became the pain nurse at Green lane, a post I held for three years. During this stint I completed my Masters in Nursing with a thesis on what pain scores mean to patients.

In 2001 I went to work as a ships nurse for Carnival Cruise Lines the worlds largest cruise line - Initially working out of New York City and after 9/11 Miami.

This role entailed being a nurse, paramedic, phlebotomist, educator, radiographer and all round resource person.

Back in NZ I became a lecturer for Unitec and completed a post grad cert in higher education - adult teaching and learning, before returning to clinical work as Clinical Charge of Cardiovascular ICU.

Since moving into the role of CNA I have completed further post grad work and become an NZ resuscitation council (NZRC) instructor.


Advice for anyone wanting to become a CNA:

 The role is varied, acute and always surprising

The majority of the CNAs come from an acute care background - ICU, ED etc.

These acute areas often provide a variety of presentations and problems that help develop a nurses ability to deal with the unexpected.

A number of us are now NZRC instructors which reflects our involvement with in hospital resuscitation.

The ability to communicate effectively should not be overlooked in this role as it is so essential to what we do everyday whether it is debriefing staff after a code or talking down an aggressive patient.


This role is the best nursing position I've ever held and you never know what is going to happen next - getting called to rescue a gold fish (really happened) or dealing with an stabbing victim that has been dumped at the front door (also really happened) - and I'd recommend it to any one who likes a bit of the unexpected in their work day.