Media releases

Media releases and statements by Rachel Stephen-Smith

Recognising Nurse Practitioners in the ACT (1)

September 24, 2019

New legislation, passed in the Legislative Assembly today, ensures Nurse Practitioners are now equal to a doctor, dentist or eligible midwife when being reviewed and credentialed for clinical privileges.

The Health Amendment Bill embeds the term "nurse practitioner" into the Health Act, broadening the workforce opportunities for nurse practitioners in the public and private health and aged care sectors.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said this amendment was in recognition of the advanced clinical role Nurse Practitioners play in our health system.

"Nurse Practitioners provide high levels of clinically focused nursing care for people and communities with health concerns of varying complexity.

"They play a vital role in providing safe, effective health services; improving healthcare access and enabling positive health outcomes for their patients.

"The Nurse Practitioner role also assists in the recruitment and retention strategy for nursing, providing a clinical career pathway that recognises advanced and extended nursing practice roles.

"It is vital that we recognise this valuable nursing role by providing the necessary supports required to ensure Nurse Practitioners can continue to deliver safe, effective health care in Canberra.

"The ACT Government is committed to building a strong, sustainable nursing workforce. We know our professional, committed and passionate nurses play an integral role in our health system and we’ll always invest in our nurses, so they can continue to deliver the best healthcare to Canberrans," said Minister Stephen-Smith.

There are more than 45 Nurse Practitioners registered in the ACT. There are approximately 10 Nurse Practitioners for every 100,000 people in the ACT, representing the highest uptake of Nurse Practitioners in Australia.