May 18, 2023

Nurse Practitioners recognised for their skills and potential for aged care

NPs plan
An NP is a Registered Nurse (RN) with the authority to diagnose and treat people of all ages with a variety of acute or chronic health conditions. [Source: Shutterstock]

Last week’s Federal Budget flagged a new era of reforms to aged care involving strategies to fill important workforce gaps, such as the new plan to expand the services of Nurse Practitioners (NPs) into the sector.

The Nurse Practitioner Workforce Plan was constructed to remove barriers preventing NPs from providing older people accessing aged care with health services they’re qualified and trained to do.

The plan also implements a 30% increase in Medicare rebates for NP care and a new scholarship program to support RNs to train to become NPs.

The plan aims to:

  • Better utilise NPs to deliver person-centred care
  • Improve the accessibility and delivery of NP care
  • Support a well-distributed and culturally safe NP workforce

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) supports the plan as Federal Secretary, Annie Butler, was a member of the Steering Committee for the plan. She said the plan outlined a series of strategic actions to help strengthen the community’s access to quality primary healthcare services.

“Expanding NPs’ scope of practice and introducing incentives such as an increase in MBS rebates for their services could finally allow NPs to provide people with direct access to safe, quality ‘everyday care’, without having to go through a GP.

“This will remove unnecessary duplication, cost and time-wasting for many Australians in underserved communities and ensure they can access quality care when and where they need it.”

Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Ged Kearney, launched the Nurse Practitioner Workforce Plan in Melbourne on Tuesday, at an event attended by Ms Butler and other industry stakeholders.

If you have questions about the National Nursing Workforce Strategy, email nursepolicy@health.gov.au

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