Nurses welcome introduction of Legislation into Parliament

It’s time to unleash the potential of the entire nursing workforce

Media Release 20 March 2024

The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) will use a breakfast briefing at Parliament House, sponsored by the Hon Ged Kearney, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, to welcome the introduction of new Legislation into the Parliament to make it easier for nurse practitioners to deliver high quality primary health care for the community.

At the breakfast today, APNA President Karen Booth said, “It’s great news that there is real reform, and the government is working towards unleashing the potential of highly educated, experienced and trusted nurses.”

Ms Booth, a registered nurse and former manager in general practice, will tell over 70 gathered members of parliament, health care, industry leaders, and invited guests that “the Legislation being introduced to Parliament by Assistant Minister Kearney today to unlock restrictive collaborate arrangements is a great start to much needed reform for the community by enabling nurse practitioners to work to their full level of skills and experience.”

“My message to the Prime Minister and members of the Government is simple – today’s Legislation is a great start – and they should power ahead and continue with bold reform to primary health care which will deliver significant, tangible reform and unleash the power of our full nursing workforce,” Ms Booth said.

APNA’s 2023 workforce survey demonstrates why bold reform to Australia’s primary health care system is necessary by the government. Nurses are the largest profession in Australia’s primary health care workforce, yet 30% report that they rarely or occasionally work to their full level of experience, skills, or training despite many of them requesting to work to their full scope of practice.

“It’s time to remove the barriers that stop nurses working to their full potential, skills, and experience, or we are simply wasting the resources of the 96,000 strong primary health care nursing workforce,” Ms Booth said.

“The health care system is struggling to meet demand, and it is appropriate for governments to explore and implement new models of care. Our health care system relies on highly skilled and trusted nurses, and this Legislation today follows the lead from the success of ACT and Tasmanian nurse-led walk-in clinics, as well as the recent announcement by the Queensland Government to fund four walk-in nurse-run clinics for women and girls.

APNA is hosting this briefing in Canberra today, sponsored by Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care the Hon Ged Kearney, ‘Showcasing opportunities: Making primary health care stronger through nurse led team clinics’.

APNA members speaking at the breakfast include Nurse Practitioner of 17 years Kerrie Duggan, co-owner and managing director of the Cygnet Family Practice in Tasmania, as well as Kayley Meredith, an Enrolled Nurse Coordinator at Coffs Medical Centre.


Details of the Breakfast Briefing:

7.30 am – 8.30 am


  • The Hon Ged Kearney, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care
  • APNA President Karen Booth
  • APNA CEO Ken Griffin
  • Kerrie Duggan Nurse Practitioner – Cygnet Family Practice Tasmania
  • Kayley Meredith Enrolled Nurse – Chronic Disease Coordinator Coffs Medical Centre

Dame Dorothy Tagney Alcove Parliament House

Media contact:

Sue Bellino 0400 188 825


About the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA)

APNA represents over 96,000 primary health care nurses in Australia working outside of hospitals, including those employed in general practice, schools, aged care facilities, correctional facilities and in wider community settings.

The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

© Copyright 2024 Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA). All rights reserved. MRM by Bond Software.


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