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What is a NP?

Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are highly-trained registered nurses who are qualified to work autonomously and collaboratively in an advanced clinical role that can see them assessing and managing patients, referring patients to other health care professionals, prescribing medications and ordering diagnostic investigations. 

NPs provide innovative and flexible health care that complements that provided by other health care practitioners. Only those endorsed by Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) as a Nurse Practitioner can use the title for their respective scope of practice.



Nurse Practitioner Candidates

A Nurse Practitioner Candidate (NPC) is a registered nurse engaged by a service/organisation as they work toward meeting the academic and clinical requirements for endorsement as a NP. The period of candidacy is flexible. Medical and senior nursing mentorship is essential for the development of the skills and competencies needed to meet the requirements of the NMBA.

The NMBA also stipulates that those seeking endorsement as Nurse Practitioners are expected to have completed three years’ advanced practice in their specific area of practice. There is also an expectation that the Nurse Practitioner will only practise in that specific area of practice and in accordance with the Safety and Quality Framework (SQF) included in the guidelines on endorsement as a nurse practitioner.

The following Victorian regional and metropolitan agencies support palliative care NPs and candidates:

  • Albury Wodonga Health
  • Ballarat Health
  • Barwon Health
  • Bendigo Health
  • Eastern Health
  • Eastern Palliative Care
  • Gippsland Lakes Community Health
  • Kooweerup Regional Health Service
  • Latrobe Community Health
  • Latrobe Regional Health
  • Northern Health
  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
  • RDNS - Not all Regions
  • South East Palliative Care
  • St Vincent's Hospital
  • West Gippsland Healthcare Group

Click here for a map of Victoria indicating the location of Nurse Practitioners (black marker) and Nurse Practitioner Candidates (green marker). In August 2016, there were 19 Palliative Care Nurse Practitioners and seven Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner Candidates in Victoria.

Approved Masters of Nurse Practitioner Programs

There are several Masters of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) courses in Australia, including the following courses at Victorian universities:

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