Transition to Practice Programs

Are you new to nursing in primary health care or want to support someone who is?

APNA's Transition to Practice Programs (TPP) provides an evidence-based education framework and support to nurses who have transitioned to primary health care1 and feel they would benefit from additional assistance in understanding primary health care. TPP has been designed to improve the recruitment and retention of nurses in primary health care.

NEW: Missed our information session for our March 2024 intake? You can watch it here.

Who can take part in TPP?

  1. Nurses new to primary health care (Transitioning Nurse, TN): newly graduated or experienced nurses currently working in a primary health care setting1 who would like additional support during their transition.
  2. Nurses experienced in primary health care (Mentors): nurses with four or more years of experience in primary health care and interested in mentoring and supporting nurses new to primary health care.


Programs available

Two programs are available for nurses to participate in: Nursing in Primary Health Care (NiPHC TPP) and APNA TPP. Click the below buttons to find out more and apply or register to be notified 






Transition to Practice Programs Key Elements

Access to education and resources developed for nurses new to primary healthcare over 8-10 months such as:


Register your interest

Important: This is not an application for the program. The information you provide us will aid us in making informed decisions on future programs. 

  • Nurses interested in future programs: We will contact you if you may be eligible to apply for future programs 
  • Workplaces looking to employ a nurse in primary health care: We will contact you when an opportunity to apply for funded job advertisements becomes available
  • PHNs interested in funding positions: We will be in touch once you have set a meeting with our team






Rebekah Cox | Program Manager
Deb Kerz | Elaine Cornford | Rosie Oldham | Program officers
Alisha Komninos |  Program administration support
Email | Call 1300 303 184


1Primary health care refers to any setting outside of acute health, including but not limited to: Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health services, Correctional/justice health, Community health, Education facilities, General practice and more.

Additional information

  1. Becoming an APNA member (if you’re not already) provides access to a wealth of resources, knowledge and networking opportunities. Click here to find out more
  2. Register with APNA's partner and job-search site - HealthCareLink to find a suitable primary health care role near you: Click here to find out more
  3. Use your local Primary Health Network (PHN) in your area to assist in finding a workplace that might be looking for a nurse and/or sponsoring a place in APNA's TPP. Click here to find your local PHN
  4. Seek a workplace that currently has nurses working there to assist you in your transition to primary health care or seek out an experienced nurse who is willing to mentor you either informally or as part of one of APNA's Transition to Practice Programs.
  5. Consider undertaking a ‘trial’ placement where you can shadow the existing staff to see what a ‘day in the life of’ might be like.
  6. There are several skills such as triage and general assessment that are very transferrable to the primary health care setting. Ensure you sell yourself on these points when looking for a role
  7. Be proactive in your education. APNA Online learning has plenty of specialised courses such as:
    • Immunisation
    • Wound care
    • Triage
    • Chronic disease management. Knowledge of diabetes, asthma, mental health and cardiovascular disease management is highly sought after.
    • Principles of and/or courses on motivational interviewing and/or health coaching are also highly recommended.
  8. Each primary health care setting will differ and can have a variety of needs and focuses, dependent on the patient demographics and individual services available. Ask potential workplaces if they have any special interest services and the general demographics of their service population to find out what services you might be focusing on in your new workplace.
  • Build your foundational knowledge, skills and confidence through professional and clinical development, mentoring and support
  • Enhance your competency, confidence, and capacity as a nurse working in primary health care to enable you to work to your full scope of practice
  • Equip you for effective team-based care to achieve better health outcomes in primary health care
  • Enhance your professional network in primary health care
  • Build your foundational knowledge, skills and confidence in professional and clinical mentoring via small group facilitation
  • Enhance your competency, confidence, and capacity as a nurse leader working in primary health care to enable you to work to your full scope of practice
  • Provide opportunities to enhance your role and expand your network through professional and personal growth and development 
  • Participate in a professional program where you are recognised and reimbursed for your mentoring contribution to primary health care

Nurses new to primary health care

  • A more knowledgeable, skilled and confident nurse: Mentoring via small group learning and guided education can enhance confidence and competence in clinical skill development, knowledge and professional growth opportunities.
  • A nurse with enhanced clinical skills development: Your nurse will receive access to over 50 hours of free and targeted professional development (CPD) countless resources aimed specifically around what nurses new to primary health care need to know, i.e. wound care, care planning, chronic disease management, scope of practice etc. Your nurse’s CPD hours for registration will be well and truly achieved.
  • A nurse with increased job satisfaction: Research indicates that your nurse is more likely to stay. Support and guidance from experienced peers can provide increased career and job satisfaction for nurses.

Nurses experienced in primary health care

  • Improved job satisfaction and retention: Research indicates that nurses are more likely to stay in their role when provided with increased career and job satisfaction, e.g. from opportunities to mentor.
  • Personal development opportunities: Mentoring peers will increase your nurse’s skills and knowledge around project management, problem solving, interpersonal and communication skills. 
  • Improved workplace processes: Mentors often report learning something new from their TNs that they then implement in their workplace.
  • Access to high quality education (CPD): Mentors get access to over 50 hours of high quality APNA online learning modules and resources with direct flow on benefits for your workplace. Your nurse’s CPD hours for registration will be well and truly achieved
  • Development of leadership skills: Mentoring helps nurses build networks and leadership skills. Not to mention increases clinical expertise and knowledge of the primary health care system.

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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