What is a Nurse Practitioner?

A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a Registered Nurse with the experience and expertise to diagnose and treat people of all ages with a variety of acute or chronic health conditions. NPs have completed additional university study at Master’s degree level and are the most senior clinical nurses in our health care system.  The title "Nurse Practitioner" can only be used by a person who has been endorsed by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

National standards for practice ensure that Nurse Practitioners are capable of providing high quality, patient centred care. They are also capable in clinical research, education and leadership as applied to clinical care and health service development.

Did you know that Nurse practitioners ... ... ...

  • Have practised in Australia for 20 yearsHow to become a NP logo

  • Provide health care in all states and territories in Australia

  • Can provide patient rebates through Medicare

  • Provide prescriptions and access to PBS medicines

  • Can refer patients to hospitals and specialists

  • Can order x-rays and diagnostic tests

  • Are registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (Ahpra)


Nurse Practitioners work as key members of the healthcare team and collaborate with other nurses and healthcare professionals including GPs, medical and surgical specialists, physiotherapists, dieticians, occupational therapists, social workers, and many others. They work in a variety of locations, both in hospital and community settings.

This innovative role aims to:

  • Improve access to treatment

  • Provide cost-effective care

  • Target at-risk populations

  • Provide outreach services in rural and remote communities

  • Provide mentorship and clinical expertise to other health professionals.

The Nurse Practitioner title can only be used by a person who has been endorsed by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.


What is the scope of practice for a Nurse Practitioner?

Nurse practitioners practice collaboratively with other health professionals to improve access to healthcare for Australian communities through health promotion, disease prevention, and health management strategies. They improve health outcomes for specific patient populations or communities.  Read the full statement of the ACNP Position Statement SOP here.


Want to learn more?  Watch these videos.

Part 3: Nurse Practitioners - Your Partner in Health Care 

Part 2: The Passion of Australian Nurse Practitioners

Part 1: Get to Know Australian Nurse Practitioners