Practice nurses in Australia: current issues and future directions

Med J Aust. 2007 Jul 16;187(2):108-10. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2007.tb01153.x.


Almost 60% of general practices now employ at least one practice nurse. Australian Government initiatives to support the expansion of practice nursing are not consistently based on strong evidence about effectiveness, outcomes or efficiencies. Reviews from other countries suggest that practice nurses can achieve good health outcomes, but there is little information about the Australian practice-nurse workforce, funding models to support their work, scope of their practice, or its outcomes. Australian practice nursing lacks a career structure and an education framework to advance nurses' skills and knowledge. To maximise the contribution of nurses in primary care, a more systematic approach is needed, with a stronger evidence base for policy to support effective outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Clinical Competence
  • Education, Nursing / standards
  • Education, Nursing / trends
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Nurse Practitioners / education*
  • Nurse Practitioners / standards*
  • Nurse Practitioners / statistics & numerical data
  • Nurse's Role
  • Primary Health Care / methods
  • Primary Health Care / standards
  • Primary Health Care / trends