Nurse Practitioners can now issue cremation certificates

Media release

24 May 2018

The Ministry of Health’s acting Chief Nursing Officer says the move to allow Nurse Practitioners to sign cremation certificates shows how important these professionals are to our health system.

The Cremation Regulations 1973 have now been amended, meaning Nurse Practitioners can complete a person’s cremation certification.

In January, seven of eight Acts changed when the Health Practitioners (Replacement of Statutory References to Medical Practitioners) Bill came into force, enabling Nurse Practitioners and other health professionals to do more for patients.

Dr Jill Clendon emphasises the importance of having these highly-skilled professionals in the workplace.

‘Patients have a lot of interaction with nurses, whether at home, at their local general practice, in hospital or aged residential care. Nurse Practitioners complement and enhance existing services offered to patients,’ says Dr Clendon.

‘Approximately two thirds of all people who die choose to be cremated and health professionals sign the cremation certificates. This change enables better continuity of care for patients and families, more timely completion of certification and ultimately less distress to a grieving family.’

‘A Nurse Practitioner who provides the care for a person in their last months of life and has developed a relationship with their family can now complete both the death certificate and cremation certificate.’

More information on this amendment can be found at Cremation Certificate of Medical Practitioner or Nurse Practitioner.