Transition to Practice Program information for experienced nurses

Are you committed to ongoing learning? Do you have an interest in mentoring?

Take the bold step in the direction of professional and personal development and satisfaction | Become a leader in primary health care through mentorship or facilitation of small group learning

APNA's Transition to Practice Program (TPP) provides an evidence-based framework of education over 12-months to nurses who have transitioned to primary health care* and feel they would benefit from additional support.

Nurses stepping into primary health care from university or acute care regularly report feeling overwhelmed, isolated, lacking confidence and the support of a suitable orientation, nor access to nurse peers or education to assist them in growing into their new role. All too often this leads to capable nurses being underutilised, having their potential going unnourished, and being lost to primary health care. Does this sound familiar? This is your opportunity to do something about it!

This program will:

Build your foundational knowledge, skills and confidence in professional and clinical mentoring and/or 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 

APNA has programs available to nurses and organisations (including PHNs). Register your interest in participating and find out more below. 

Members of APNA are also invited to apply to join the APNA Advisory Nurse Panel.

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



  • Rebekah Cox: Program Manager
  • Rosie Oldham: Project Officer or 1300 303 184

Please note this information is subject to change.

What's involved?

APNA will run three regular intakes per year with limited places. The participating nurses will be from a mix of rural, remote, and metro regions across multiple PHN catchments, throughout Australia. Intake dates are roughly as follows:

  • Early intake: March to February the following year
  • Mid intake: July to June the following year
  • Final intake: October to September the following year

Transitioning nurses will have the opportunity to be supported by an experienced primary health care nurse throughout the program via;

Clinical and professional mentoring (mentors): 

  • An experienced registered primary health care nurse (or nurse practitioner) with four or more years experience in primary health care will support a transitioning nurse over 6 months (min of 20 hours)
  • Clinical and professional mentors focus on developing the transitioning nurses’ clinical and non-clinical skills, and career development
  • You are supported by APNA throughout the program


Small group learning (Facilitators):

  • Regular small group learning is facilitated by experienced registered primary health care nurse (or nurse practitioners) with four or more years experience in primary health care to support the Transitioning Nurses
  • The learning will focus on developing the transitioning nurses' skills development, career, and personal skills development and growth (min of 20 hours)
  • You are supported by APNA throughout the program

APNA recognises your contribution of knowledge and skills to the TPP community is invaluable and essential to the success of the program and the broader strengthening of the primary health care nurse workforce

All nurse mentors and facilitators are reimbursed for their program participation, with over 20 hours over 6 months of funding available ($1,440 ex GST per transitioning nurse - for 1:1 mentoring).

Mentoring and/or Facilitation guide workbooks provided:

A facilitation guide and/or clinical and professional mentor hand-book is provided for nurses mentors undertaking mentoring or small group facilitation in a formal program

The workbook is a tool which can be used by the nurse mentor or facilitator to guide them throughout the program, and beyond the 6-month program

It is used to guide nurse mentors in preparing, commencing, growing, and concluding a mentoring relationship with a mentee in primary health care

It may be used independently or accompany an existing workplace mentoring program and will provide resources, tools, and templates for mentors to use throughout the program and beyond


Education specific to developing a sustained mentoring or facilitation relationship will be provided to mentors/faciitators.

Additionally, there is access to a minimum of 12 online learning activities selected from suite of education developed specifically for the TPP, many of which are exclusive to APNA programs: View the list of TPP education

APNA has over 150 online learning activities for primary health care nurses

Transitioning nurses are also provided with:

  • The 12-hour online learning training: An orientation for nurses new to general practice online learning
  • Foundations of general practice workbook: provided for transitioning nurses to be used by the transitioning nurse and their practice team well beyond the 12-month program

Mentors or facilitators will have access to their allocated transitioning nurses (TN) online self-assessment tool. This tool has been designed to assist nurses with prioritising and planning their education needs and tracking their progress, throughout the program. Mentors/facilitators will be able to comment on their allocated TNs self-assessment.

Participants will have access to, and are expected to contribute to and help foster an online community of practice whereby all participants are encouraged to initiate topical conversations, share knowledge, exchange resources, pose questions and respond to peers, and helping cultivate an environment of open communication and learning.

Webinars will be developed and delivered by experienced primary health care nurses on key information relevant to TPP nurse participants.

Mentors/ facilitators may also have the opportunitiy to contribute to these webinars. 

All participants are encourraged to provide regular feedback about the program to APNA to assist in program improvement.

Participants will also get the opportunity to contribute to Program and/or other APNA activities throughout the program.

All participants have access to:

  • APNA's experienced primary health care nurses for clincial and professional support during business hours across the 12-month period
  • TPP-related support from APNA's TPP team

The Australian Primary Health Care 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 2022 Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA). All rights reserved. MRM by Bond Software.


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