Transition to Practice Program information for nurses new to primary health care

Are you new to nursing in primary health care?

Do you feel uncertain about your new role? | Overwhelmed? | Isolated? 

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.

This program will:

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

Who can participate in the TPP?

Nurses in primary health care who are commited to their clincial and professional development over the 12-month course of the TPP and may be:

  1. Recently graduated or
  2. An experienced nurse who has moved into an unfamiliar primary health care setting

Experienced primary health care nurses are encouraged to get involved as a clinical and professional mentor or small group facilitator. Click here to find out more

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

Nurses working in remote and rural Queensland or New South Wales (MMM3+) can apply for a TPP package funded by Health Workforce Queensland or NSW Rural Doctors Network respectively.  Nurses working in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Services in QLD and NSW may also be eligible for scholarships through these agencies.  Click on the "Supported TPP Programs Available" link below.

*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

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
  • Clinical and professional mentors focus on developing the transitioning nurses’ clinical and non-clinical skills, and career development
  • The mentors are funded to provide a minimum of 24 hours of direct and indirect contact with each transitioning nurse over a period of 6 months


Small group learning:

  • 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

An orientation for nurses new to general practice online learning:

​​​​​​Taken from APNA's successful face-to-face workshops, this training will provide nurses with access to the same materials in an online format. This 12-hour orientation provides an understanding of roles, responsibilities, and skills necessary for nurses working in the general practice environment. 

Foundations of general practice workbook

This workbook is provided for nurses undertaking orientation to general practice and can be used by the transitioning nurse and their practice team well beyond the 12-month program

It is used to help new nurses to general practice navigate this multi-faceted environment

The workbook can be referred to independently or accompanying an existing workplace orientation, assisting with identifying areas where additional knowledge is required

Find out more about the Foundations of General Practice: A workbook for nurses

Transition to Practice specific education:

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 education activities for primary health care nurses to access

An online self-assessment tool to assist you with prioritising and planning your education needs, and tracking your progress, throughout the program

Transitioning nurses and mentors 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

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.


Item removed. Undo