Frequently asked questions
What is a nurse practitioner?
Nurse practitioners are the most senior clinical nurses involved in diagnosing and treating patient illnesses. You will find them working independently, while alongside other doctors and health care professionals, to assess, diagnose, treat and manage patient illnesses.
Nurse practitioners are authorised by the Nursing and Midwifery Board Australia.
Is a 'nurse practitioner' the same as a 'practice nurse'?
No. A 'practice nurse' is a registered nurse or an enrolled nurse who provides a range of primary health care services on behalf of a medical practitioner or doctor.
Why would I see a nurse practitioner rather than a doctor?
Nurse practitioners are the most senior clinical nurses involved in diagnosing and treating patient illnesses. They are highly qualified, and work alongside doctors and other health care professionals, to diagnose, treat illness and other health care needs.
Are nurse practitioners General Practitioner replacements?
No. Nurse practitioners are first and foremost a nurse, with expert skills in the assessment, diagnosis and management of a person's health needs within a particular population group or a specialist field of nursing practice.
When would I see a nurse practitioner?
Nurse practitioners are specialised in a certain area of patient management. As a patient you could potentially be seen by a nurse practitioner across the state in settings such as:
- aged care
- emergency care
- mental health
- chronic disease conditions
- wound management
- palliative care
- women's health
- community and primary care
- neonatal and paediatrics.