What is a Nurse Practitioner?

A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a Registered Nurse with the experience, expertise and authority 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 and independent 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 21+ years

  • 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 (NMBA)


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.


Nurse Practitioner Fact Sheets

The ACNP has developed the following fact sheets:  


What if I want to become an NP? 

If you would like to learn more about becoming a Nurse Practitioners please download the booklet and postcard below.  You can also contact us on 1300 433 660 for further information.

You will find a full list of approved University Courses to become a NP at: https://www.acnp.org.au/universities


Front Postcard Picture

 Download the Nurse Practitioner Career Path Postcard


How can NP's add value to our workplace? 

In many areas of health care, Australians are experiencing real benefits of seeing a Nurse Practitioner (NP).

NPs are adding value to a variety of workplaces and take pride in working as significant members of the team.

NPs have the skills, experience and qualifications to provide holistic health care through:

  • Diagnosis and treatment of a variety of health related conditions
  • Construction and implementation of therapeutic regimens for patients, carers and families
  • Initiating and receiving appropriate referrals from health professionals
  • Ordering and interpreting the most appropriate tests to assist in diagnosis and management
  • Prescribing appropriate and necessary medications

Download the brochure for your workplace to find out more: 

NPs Adding Value to Your Workplace


Want to learn more? 

If you would like to know more about Nurse Practitioners and their many speciality areas of practice please view the videos below. 

These videos were developed by the Australian College of Nurse Practitioners as part of the Government supported 'Transforming Health Care' campaign in 2019.  


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