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.

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?

  • NPs have practised in Australia for over 15 yearsHow to become a NP logo

  • NP provide health care in all states and territories in Australia

  • Can provide patient rebates through Medicare

  • Provide prescriptions and access to PBS medicines

  • NP are registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)


Through their training and expertise Nurse Practitioners are able to autonomously perform advanced physical assessment, order diagnostic tests, interpret the results of these tests, initiate referrals to relevant healthcare providers, and prescribe appropriate medications and other therapies as needed. The expanded role of the NP is clearly defined by the scope or specialty area in which the NP practices.

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.


Part 1: Get to Know Australian Nurse Practitioners

Part 2: The Passion of Australian Nurse Practitioners