Nurse Practitioner 10 Year Plan

The ACNP is currently working with The Minister for Health, the Hon. Greg Hunt and the Department of Health on the Nurse Practitioner 10 Year Plan. 

The Department of Health is developing a 10 year plan for nurse practitioners. The purpose of the Nurse Practitioner 10 Year Plan is to describe a set of actions that can be taken to address nurse practitioner workforce issues of national significance and enhance the delivery of nursing care to the Australian community. The Plan will include 1 to 3 year, 5 year and 10 year goals. Development of the Nurse Practitioner 10 Year Plan will occur concurrently with development of the National Nursing Strategy, due to the role nurse practitioners play in broader nursing career pathways and health care outcomes for patients.

The Nurse Practitioner 10 Year Plan Steering Committee was formed in 2021, and meets regularly with the Government to continue the development of the Nurse Practitioner 10 Year Plan. 

The Nurse Practitioner 10 year plan Steering Committee was formed following a collective effort of peak nursing organisations, including the ACNP, in response to the Final Report of the MBS Taskforce https://www.acnp.org.au/mbs-review

In 2021, the Australian Government Department of Health released the Nurse Practitioner 10 Year Plan Survey seeking consumer and stakeholder feedback. This survey closed on the 20 December 2021.  

 

The ACNP has provided our submission to the Australian Government Department of Health on the 20 December 2021. 

Please click on the button below to see the ACNP Nurse Practitioner 10 Year Plan Submission.  

10 Year Plan

 

The ACNP has suggested the following priorities and suggested timelines for the Nurse Practitioner 10 Year Plan: 

  • The Commonwealth Government promote a top-down value approach of the Nurse Practitioner role
  • Improved visibility and voice of Nurse Practitioners at State/Territory level
  • Make legislative changes to optimise the role of Nurse Practitioners and remove current obstacles of access to healthcare by Nurse Practitioners for their patients
  • Improve visibility of Nurse Practitioner data and outcomes of care
  • Strengthen and incentivise the value of the Nurse Practitioner role
  • Research and evaluation to scale up what already works well
  • Support targeted approaches for populations with higher health needs
  • Enhancing the health of rural/remote communities
  • Workforce strategies
  • Remove MBS Barriers
  • Growth and supporting Nurse Practitioner education
  • Nurse Practitioners have achieved parity with equivalently educated health practitioners for funding and access to MBS, Workcover, Transport Accident providers etc.
  • Omnibus Bills have been introduced in every State and Territory allowing full practice authority for Nurse Practitioners consistent with the Commonwealth Omnibus Bill proposed.
  • ACNP is supported to lead vocational training and development of Nurse Practitioners, and for setting standards of practice to ensure Australia has a highly skilled Nurse Practitioner workforce that provides safe, high quality care for patients and their families.
  • A specific Nurse Practitioner workforce training budget is allocated to address workforce shortages and recognising the need for increasing numbers of Nurse Practitioners to be trained each year.
  • There is funded protected support for professional development/ongoing education for Nurse Practitioners.
  • Clinical funding is matched to service delivery and outcomes achieved by Nurse Practitioners, not according to a health professional subgroup.
  • There is 30% annual growth in Nurse Practitioner numbers, including replacement of attrition due to the retiring workforce.
  • There is matched Nursing and Medical representation on all health policy and health practice committees in the Commonwealth DoH.
  • Improved media awareness of the nursing voice, including Nurse Practitioners and issues in healthcare. 
  • All Australian Nurse Practitioners are working with full practice authority with no legislative or financial barriers, providing safe and affordable healthcare for all Australians.
  • There is 40% annual growth in Nurse Practitioner numbers and the role is highly sought after by employers.
  • The Nurse Practitioner workforce is providing equitable access to health care services across Australia. This workforce is remunerated according to their education and expertise, it is flexible and adaptable to respond to new health needs, offers cost effective healthcare, is highly regarded by patients, families, healthcare workers and health services, is innovative and leads change, reduces inequality in access to health services and impacts hospital waiting times.
  • ACNP is partnering with pillars of health at all levels including federal, state and territory, and locally to improve transparency and networks for future needs.
  • Australian Nurse Practitioner training and healthcare provision is recognised as meeting international best practice.

Update on the Nurse Practitioner 10 year plan 

Many of you who contributed to the consultation would have already received this update:

As part of the development of the Plan the Department of Health sought the views of stakeholders from 19 November to 20 December 2021. The purpose of the consultation was to collect ideas from a wide range of stakeholders on their perspectives, experiences and knowledge of nurse practitioners (NP) and to identify benefits, barriers and workforce solutions to inform development of the Plan.

The high response rate received to this open consultation was welcomed and has highlighted the interest in this work. The mix of responses from consumers, nurse practitioners, health professionals and organisations provided a comprehensive picture of current NP workforce issues. The Department has analysed the 496 responses received and prepared a summary of the key themes and ideas that were heard. This report can be found at https://consultations.health.gov.au/health-workforce/nurse-practitioner-10-year-plan-survey/  

Work currently underway

  • The Nurse Practitioner 10 Year Plan Steering Committee (NPSC) met in March and focused on identifying an agreed purpose and developing a logic model for the Plan. Summaries and findings from the public consultation, yarning circles and consumer focus groups were also discussed. The Committee provided insight and feedback around potential areas of action and key focus points to consider during the development of the Plan. The Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Adjunct Professor (Practice) Alison McMillan PSM noted the importance of remaining consumer focused and ensuring longevity of the Plan. You can view the meeting communiques at https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/steering-committee-on-nurse-practitioner-10-year-plan-communiques
  • Consultation with stakeholders will continue as drafting of the Plan advances. This will assist in building the objectives of the Plan, refining the long list of suggested actions received through the consultations, and assessing potential activities for feasibility of implementation, cost and timeliness. The Plan will need to consider long term health reforms and how the health and aged care systems will look in the next 10 years, and the contribution that nurse practitioners can make to this.

When ready, we will consult on the draft Plan, to gauge the level of support for the actions, the planned approach and timing of implementation and the key dimensions of monitoring and evaluation. Please email nursepolicy@health.gov.au if you have any questions on this process

The high response rate received to this open consultation was welcomed and has highlighted the interest in this work. The mix of responses from consumers, nurse practitioners, health professionals and organisations provided a comprehensive picture of current NP workforce issues. The Department has analysed the 496 responses received and prepared a summary of the key themes and ideas that were heard. This report can be found at

The Nurse Practitioner 10 Year Plan Steering Committee (NPSC) met in March and focused on identifying an agreed purpose and developing a logic model for the Plan. Summaries and findings from the public consultation, yarning circles and consumer focus groups were also discussed. The Committee provided insight and feedback around potential areas of action and key focus points to consider during the development of the Plan. The Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Adjunct Professor (Practice) Alison McMillan PSM noted the importance of remaining consumer focused and ensuring longevity of the Plan. You can view the meeting communiques at https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/steering-committee-on-nurse-practitioner-10-year-plan-communiques

 

Consultation with stakeholders will continue as drafting of the Plan advances. This will assist in building the objectives of the Plan, refining the long list of suggested actions received through the consultations, and assessing potential activities for feasibility of implementation, cost and timeliness. The Plan will need to consider long term health reforms and how the health and aged care systems will look in the next 10 years, and the contribution that nurse practitioners can make to this.

Resources

Past actions

Thank you to all the Nurse Practitioners and patients that responded to the Department of Health Survey.  This survey has now closed.

Your views matter.

 

The Next Phase: Consumer Consultation on Nurse Practitioner Care

The Government is developing a 10 Year Plan for Nurse Practitioners. The Department of Health would like to make sure that the Plan reflects consumer experiences.  To do this, the Department will hold consultation groups with consumers who have had experiences of care from nurse practitioners (either as a patient or as a carer of a patient).

The Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) has been asked by the Department to recruit focus groups and report on participants’ views, to broaden its consultation with consumers on the 10 Year Nurse Practitioner (NP) Plan. The focus groups are seeking consumers with direct NP experiences. It would be good to recruit consumers with a range of experience, for example NPs in generalist roles, in hospitals, and in specialist roles, such as aged care.

Consultation on 10 Year Nurse Practitioner Plan

  • Have you or someone you care for been treated by a nurse practitioner?
  • Are you willing to share your experience to help develop a national plan to support nurse practitioners?

 

Details:

  • Consultations to be held 10 and 11 February
  • Duration up to 1.5 hours
  • Participant payments of $125, in accordance with CHF policy.

Please contact Tammy Wolffs, Senior Policy Officer (t.wolffs@chf.org.au) for more information.  Consumers can register interest here and Tammy will contact you.

 

Resources for Nurse Practitioners: