APNA Workforce Survey

APNA Workforce Survey 2018

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's APNA Workforce Survey.

We had a record response from nurses working in primary health care, so thank you for you time in completing this.

Watch this space for further details on the results.


Monitoring nursing trends: APNA workforce survey 2017

Each year APNA undertakes an annual workforce survey through which we intend to understand our members’ view and what it’s like to be a primary health care nurse. In 2017 we heard from 1,073 primary health care nurses across Australia. Here is a snapshot of what they told us. 

High levels of job satisfaction

Over 80% of respondents are satisfied or very satisfied with their current role and intend to continue with a nursing or midwifery career in primary health care for the foreseeable future. 

Some of the most satisfying aspects of working as a primary health care nurse were reported as: 

  • The provision of care to patients and their families including continuity of care
  • Contributing to patient satisfaction and positive health outcomes
  • Collaboration and effective team-based care 
  • Being a valued member of the primary health care team by staff and patients












Primary health care nurses could be better utilised in the workplace

Many respondents felt that their education, training and qualifications are not used to the full extent in their current role. Approximately 231 respondents (29%) felt they could do more and 87 (11%) respondents indicated that most of the time they don’t get to use their knowledge and skills to the full extent. 

Less than half of the respondents (390 out of a total of 807) suggested to their employer or manager that they could undertake more complex clinical activities or extend their role in the workplace within their scope of practice. 

When respondents suggested to their employer or managers that they could do more complex activities within their scope of practice, less than half (186 out of 390) were able to negotiate more complex tasks or extended roles. A number of common reasons for the lack of change to more complex tasks or extended roles included lack of support by the broader healthcare team and financial and resourcing challenges.

Working conditions

Lack of time and financial remuneration were the most commonly reported factors impacting on respondents’ ability to carry out their roles. Over 400 respondents out of 793 (approximately 50%) did not have or were not sure if they had a formal and documented appraisal of their work performance in the last two years. 

230 responses out of 732 (31% of respondents) have never been offered a pay increase. 

Want to know more? Download the handy infographic


APNA's Workforce Survey

APNA has commissioned a national workforce survey annually since 2004, with the aim of equipping nurses working in primary health care with information on the workforce conditions of their profession.

In 2015 APNA reinvigorated its survey tool. Based on a revised methodology to better understand trends in the primary health care nurse workforce over time, the survey built on APNA’s Salary and Conditions Survey (2004–2014) and the Australian Medicare Local Alliance General Practice Nurse National Survey (2012). It was important to maximise the continuity of data collection to enable ongoing analysis of trends over time with a validated primary health care nurse workforce survey instrument.

Collection of this information will enhance APNA’s ability to develop evidence-based policy and programs relating to the primary health care nurse workforce.

The knowledge you give us through this survey helps APNA to advocate and support you and your colleagues. Now more than ever it is important for us to have a good understanding of the capacity, conditions and experience of the primary health care nursing workforce, and we thank the nurses who take part each and every year. Keep an eye on APNA communications to find out how to take part in our next survey.

APNA’s Workforce Survey offers an indication of the average pay and conditions of nurses working in Australia. If you are interested in the minimum pay and conditions for a nurse or worker in Australia please visit our Nurses Award page.

Results of past surveys can be viewed below.



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