Nurse practitioners

Nurse practitioners are some of the most senior clinical nurses in our health care system with advanced qualifications and extensive experience. We have over 50 nurse practitioners in the ACT. They work in many different areas across our health system and can:

  • diagnose and manage illnesses
  • prescribe medicines
  • request testing, such as blood tests and x-rays
  • refer patients to other health professionals

The nurse practitioner role is grounded in the nursing profession’s values, knowledge, theories, and practice. They provide innovative and flexible health care delivery that complements other health care providers.

You might have been treated by a nurse practitioner at a hospital, Walk-in Centre or in the community. We’re increasing the numbers of nurse practitioners in the ACT so everyone can have better access to safe, effective, and affordable health care.

Watch this video to learn more about nurse practitioners

Meet some of our ACT nurse practitioners

Juliane Samara

Juliane Samara has worked in many different settings across the ACT and is now working in the Specialist Palliative Aged Care (PEACE) service at Clare Holland House. Juliane and her team work with residential aged care facility staff, families, residents and GPs to plan and deliver symptom management and provide end of life care. Juliane gives presentations at conferences and education days, and is involved on national committees, professional organisations and hospital working groups.

Chris Helms

Chris Helms began nursing after volunteering with nurses and public health workers in the Dominican Republic and Mexico. Since then he’s worked in many different settings, including in a remote Aboriginal community using his advanced knowledge and skills as a nurse practitioner. He has since opened his own private practice in Canberra where his patients benefit from his holistic and person-centred care.

Lan Wu

Lan Wu arrived in Australia in 2008 where she studied nursing and began her impressive career by specialising in alcohol and other drugs. She has worked extensively in QLD while gaining further qualifications to become a nurse practitioner and psychotherapist. She is currently working in her private practice in Canberra where she treats patients who need support for drug and alcohol issues.

nurse

Nurse Practitioner, Maria Bayani began nursing in the Philippines which took her to many different countries before she settled in Australia. It was her dream to become a nurse practitioner as she loves the advanced scope of work, and using her experience and scientific knowledge to help patients. She is now seeing patients at the Tuggeranong Walk-in Centre. The five Walk-in Centres across Canberra have a nurse practitioner as the clinical leader. The nurse practitioners work with advance practice nurses seeing patients every day of the year for free treatment of non-life-threatening illness and injuries.

Endorsement

Registered nurses can be endorsed as nurse practitioners by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia if they have additional qualifications and specific expertise that meet the nurse practitioner endorsement standards.

Find out more about nurse practitioners’ scope of practice and how to gain endorsement from the following resources on the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia website:

Further education

There are many universities offering the Master of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) across Australia, including online options. All degrees are at the master’s level and have universal admission requirements, which are:

  • registration as a registered nurse
  • a minimum of 2 years’ full time equivalent as a registered nurse in a specified clinical field
  • a minimum of 2 years’ full time equivalent advanced practice in that same clinical field
  • a postgraduate qualification (graduate certificate or graduate diploma) in a clinical field

Individual courses may have more requirements, and all are accredited by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council. A list of universities offering the Master of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) degree is available on the Australian Health Practitioner Agency website.

Governance arrangements

The ACT Government reviewed the governance arrangements for nurse practitioners in the ACT in 2017. Findings from the review highlighted the value of nurse-led models of healthcare and the need to update the existing nurse practitioner governance arrangements in the ACT.

Recommendations from the report which are being implemented include:

  • normalising the role of nurse practitioners in the ACT in line with other health professionals, with the clinical governance arrangements for nurse practitioners being the responsibility of employers.
  • making sure all employers have robust clinical governance systems in place for all health professionals (including nurse practitioners) working in the service.
  • amending the ACT legislation and policy barriers that relate to nurse practitioner practice, to allow them to work to their full potential.

In response, the Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer has begun a body of work for the ACT that includes:

  • Surveying the nurse practitioner workforce and consulting with key stakeholders about the current nurse practitioner workforce, their employers and their clinical practice
  • evaluating previous recommendations from research and reports on the role of nurse practitioners
  • creating a database of legislation and policy relating to current and future nurse practitioner clinical practice
  • developing a suite of frequently asked questions and other useful resources for nurse practitioners and their employers
  • reviewing the existing nurse practitioner credentialing processes in the ACT public sector, and developing an overarching framework for credentialing public and private sector nurse practitioners
  • analysing the barriers of nurse practitioners working to their full scope of clinical practice, with recommendations for legislative and policy changes presented to the Minister for Health.

More information

To find out more about nurse practitioners:

Register

If you’re a nurse practitioner in the ACT, register your information with the Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer using this form to stay up-to-date with relevant resources, legislation and policy changes.

* indicates required
I consent to receiving email updates from the Office of the ACT Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer and understand I can unsubscribe at any time. *
Page last updated on: 10 Dec 2020