Funding Nurse Clinics

Secure funding to establish and maintain your nurse clinic.

On this page:

  • Understand funding and budgets

  • Explore various sources of clinic funding

  • Know the pivotal role of the MBS in funding clinics

Fundamentals of funding

Identifying sustainable sources of funding is critical, particularly in private sector environments and in non-profit environments where funding sources are becoming increasingly uncertain.

After significant establishment costs, clinics need a steady income stream to cover expenses such as:

  • nurse salaries and operational costs
  • products and equipment
  • training and professional development
  • administrative costs
  • marketing and signage, and
  • opportunity costs, including roles and tasks that are forgone so that the nurse can lead the clinic.

In order to proceed with a nurse clinic, a nurse needs to:

  • understand financing concepts
  • identify potential sources of funding
  • understand the conditions around the use of that funding
  • be able to negotiate financing ideas with their managers, and
  • monitor the use of funding in partnership with others within their organisation.

 See how the nurse clinic case studies funded their clinic models

Developing a budget

Hand in hand with questions of financing a clinic is a sound budget. It’s only with a budget that you know (and can show potential sources of finance) how much you need to establish your clinic, and what the ongoing operational costs and revenue are projected to be.

 Budget Template Interactive module - model the financial impact of running a nurse clinic. 

 Nurse Clinic Budget Template Tool (36kb) Download the budget template tool and start your own budget.

 Building the business case for a nurse clinic

Sources of funding

The success of a nurse clinic depends on many factors, one of which is funding. It is necessary to identify sustainable sources of funding to pay for the health services provided. Nurses that understand financial concepts can advocate within their organisation and with external agencies to plan and deliver new service models for patients.

Funding may come from various sources including:

  • federal, state, territory and local governments (including the Medicare Benefits Schedule and the Practice Nurse Incentive Program).

  • patients who pay ‘out of pocket’ costs.

  • philanthropic and tender grants.

Your business plan will need to have a financing component that describes the source of funding and any conditions associated with accessing that funding. For example, nurses using MBS care planning item numbers to fund a nurse clinic will need to include the MBS items, the dollar amounts, when they are going to be claimed, and how the MBS requirements will be met in the financing section of the business case.

 Review this list of the most commonly used MBS items used in nurse clinics

Some health organisations rely on a single source of financing to provide their care, but this is rare. It is risky because a service may become unsustainable if that source of financing changes or is no longer available. Managers and boards sometimes focus on diversifying their funding streams to manage this risk.

Information on potential funding sources include:

National bodies for people affected by particular diseases also list state and territory bodies that may have grants. 

Cancer Australia 
Diabetes Australia 

Your local government councils may offer community grants and small public health grants 


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 2023 Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA). All rights reserved. MRM by Bond Software.


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