What is a Nurse Practitioner?

A Nurse Practitioner is a specialist in their field of expertise. They are registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority and is focused on improving access to treatment, providing cost-effective care, and targeting at-risk populations.  Educated at Masters level and found throughout Australia, Nurse Practitioners work as key health care providers in regional, remote, and metropolitan areas to perform advanced assessments, order diagnostic tests, initiate referrals to healthcare providers, prescribe medications and collaborate with other nurses and healthcare professionals to provide holistic care to patients.

Nurse Practitioners are found all over Australia and the world however typically in public health settings, or in rural and remote settings. Nurse Practitioners provide a much needed gap in service delivery where access to other professionals may be limited by availability, finances or location, or where severity of the issue does not specifically warrant medical specialist intervention.

A Nurse Practitioner is first and foremost – A Registered Nurse! Which essentially means they have undergone Bachelor Degree training however have advanced and specialized in a specific field. Additional tertiary training and clinical supervision has allowed a Registered Nurse to advance to a Nurse Practitioner.  Nurse Practitioners are not medical doctors, and there are limitations to their practice, however, typically are able to work autonomously yet collaboratively with other health care professionals.