Queensland is the fastest growing state in Australia, with population growth nearly double the national average. Our health system is contending with a growing and ageing population, high birth rates, increasing cases of mental illness and preventable disease and an unacceptable gap in Indigenous life expectancy.
Nurse practitioners are one of a number of roles that have been introduced to help meet the future health care needs of the community, and supports Queensland Health's strategic intents. Nurse practitioners work in a number of practice settings across Queensland:
Improving health care access through innovation in clinical nursing
The introduction of the nurse practitioner role in Queensland provides an incentive for our advanced registered nurses to progress their nursing career without leaving the clinical setting.
Queensland Health is committed to develop and grow a flexible and responsive nurse practitioner workforce based on a culture of innovation, learning and continual improvement.
A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse educated to function autonomously and collaboratively in an advanced and extended clinical role.
Nurse practitioners are authorised by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) and legislation provides the platform to support the extensions to practise including prescribing medications, ordering diagnostic tests, completing Work Cover documentation and referral to other health care professionals.
Queensland Health nurse practitioners are classified as Grade 8 in the Nursing Career Structure.
What education and training is required to become a nurse practitioner?
A number of universities across Australia offer a Masters program leading to endorsement as a nurse practitioner.
A list of approved programs can be found at Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.
Masters programs vary in length depending on the University entry requirements. The NMBA specifies that approved Masters programs must be at least one year full-time or two years part-time.
Minimum requirements for entry include:
Growing the nurse practitioner workforce
In Queensland, decisions to establish NP positions are made by employers and Health Service Districts where there is an identified service need, and workforce planning identifies a match with the advanced skills and competencies possessed by nurse practitioners.
All nursing vacancies in Queensland Health are advertised on the Work for Us website.
Where can I find more information about becoming a nurse practitioner?