1000th Nursing Practitioner Endorsed in Australia

By Petrina Smith
Wednesday, 19 February, 2014

nursing practitionerThe Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has welcomed the endorsement of Australia’s 1000th Nurse Practitioner.
Since the first recognition of a nursing practitioner in NSW in 2000, ANMF Federal Secretary, Lee Thomas, said they had made a significant contribution to the delivery of quality care throughout Australia’s health system.
“This is a wonderful milestone for the nursing profession,” Ms Thomas said. “Nursing practitioners are registered nurses with the high-levels of education and the extensive experience needed to perform in an advanced clinical role across a wide range of health settings.
“Increasingly, nursing practitioners are being called upon to provide frontline services to healthcare consumers who otherwise would need to see their local GP, improving access to treatment, particularly in outer metropolitan, rural and remote communities across the country.”
In 2010, nursing practitioners and eligible midwives were given extended powers to offer rebates on services under the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and to write prescriptions that qualify for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) subsidies.
[caption id="attachment_6189" align="alignleft" width="110"]Lee_Thomas Lee Thomas[/caption]
“This authority has benefitted patients by providing them with greater choices in accessing primary care and allowing them to claim rebates without the long waiting times they usually experience in a doctor’s surgery,” Ms Thomas said.
“Unfortunately legislative issues and ongoing opposition from other health professionals, has continued to limit the ability of nursing practitioners to widen their scope of practice.
“Australia has been slower to embrace NPs than other parts of the world, like the UK and Canada, where they have been caring for people for more than over 50 years. “Thankfully, that is changing, as is evident with the endorsement of Australia’s 1000th NP. “NPs are providing an innovative model of care across the country’s already stretched health system.”

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