Nurse Practitioner Career Pathway

Congratulations on considering becoming a Nurse Practitioner in Australia.  

The ACNP has developed resources to provide nursing students and registered nurses with information regarding the Nurse Practitioner (NP) role, career path and opportunities.

The decision to become a NP involves long-term goals and it is important to the ACNP, that you have access to accurate information to advance your career.

You can view the steps to becoming a Nurse Practitioner by downloading the Career Guide for Aspiring Nurse Practitioners below. 






Classification of Nursing


Requirements to take the next step in your nursing career

Application to become endorsed as a nurse practitioner is made to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).

As a skilled and experienced nursing role functioning in both collaborative and autonomous practice, a number of key requirements are necessary.

To consider this as your next career option and to be ready for this step, the following is required:

1. Current general registration as a Division 1 Registered Nurse in Australia without conditions/restrictions to unsatisfactory professional practice

2. Equivalent full time experience of at least three years (5,000 hours) at an advanced clinical nursing level of practice (within the past 6 years)

3. Completion of a NMBA approved Masters course in addition, endorsement as a Nurse Practitioner will be iin the area of clinical speciality that you will practice as a NP


Universities providing NP courses 

Universities that provide the Nurse Practitioner Course can be found by clicking on the link below. 


University List



Guidelines for endorsement  

To review the guidelines for NP endorsement please click on the link For nurses applying for endorsement as a nurse practitioner

Further information and forms are available on the Ahpra site here.


  1. Two pathways to endorsement*

    1. An NMBA-approved program of study leading to endorsement as a nurse practitioner (Most common)

      When applying for PATHWAY A you need to include:
      1. Statement of service – one per employer for the 5,000 hours

      2. 5,000 hours over 6 years (from when qualification was achieved). You do not need to submit a log book.

      3. Current CV – note reasons for long work breaks (EG: Long service or maternity leave excluding sick leave). Include CPD in your resume as there is no need to submit separately.

      4. Certified copies of Academic Transcript showing course completion.

      5. Application form

    2. A program that is substantially equivalent to an NMBA-approved program of study leading to endorsement as a nurse practitioner as determined by the NMBA. (Used mostly by international members) 

      When applying for Pathway B you need to:
      1. Provide unit outlines

      2. Map your units of study completed to NMBA-approved program of study

Time frames:

  1. The amount of time taken to process each individual application will vary based on individual circumstances.

  2. Ahpra are aware of the pressures to meet time lines to enable NP’s to be employed.



If you have any feedback regarding the endorsement process, please contact Ahpra directly.  Ahpra welcome feedback about your experience with the NP process.


Additional Ahpra Information*

Ahpra is a national body that has input into various medical areas only one of which is NP accreditation.  

The main aim of the application process through Ahpra is to provide evidence of advanced practice.

 Many forms and samples are available on the Ahpra website at:  


New Zealand Nurse Practitioners*

Under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997, nurse practitioners who hold current general registration as a registered nurse in New Zealand with no conditions or undertakings on registration can apply for mutual recognition as a NP in Australia – Form ATMR-40 (Trans Tasman form).


* This information is a brief over view only.  Ensure you check the Ahpra website for exact details when submitting your application.