Nursing in Primary Health Care Program

APNA has received funding from the Australian Government Department of Health to deliver the Nursing in Primary Health Care (NiPHC) Program over a four year period (2018–2022). To read about previous work undertaken by APNA, please refer to NiPHC (2015-2018) below.

Nurses play a central role in the delivery of team-based and multi-disciplinary care, particularly for patients with chronic and complex conditions. This Program supports strengthening the capacity, role and utilisation of the Australian primary health care nursing workforce, to address the health care needs of the community.

The NiPHC Program aims to build capacity amongst the primary health care nursing workforce by:

  • Improving employment opportunities, recruitment, and retention of nurses in primary health care settings.
  • Improve team-based approaches to primary health care service delivery through nurse delivered (team based) models of care
  • Ensuring that nurses working in primary health care settings have the knowledge and skills to deliver best practice clinical services in priority areas of primary health care.

The Program continues to expand on previous projects delivered under the NiPHC (2015-2018) Program.

Transition to Practice Program 

APNA recognises that innovative strategies are needed to address recruitment and retention issues in the primary health care nursing workforce.

The Transition to practice program provides an evidence-based framework of support over 12 months to nurses who are new to primary health care. Nurses may be recently graduated or experienced nurses moving from another healthcare setting.

The program will support a maximum of 150 nurses, in a series of five small groups over a four year period (2018 – 2022).

Program start dates:

  • Group 1: February 2019 - January 2020
  • Group 2: August 2019 - July 2020
  • Group 3: September 2019 - August 2020
  • Group 4: July 2020 - June 2021
  • Group 5: May 2021 - April 2022  

Read more about the Transition to Practice Program.

Building Nurse Capacity - improving patient outcomes

The Building Nurse Capacity (BNC) project builds on the previous work of the Enhanced Nurse Clinics project and aims to build the capacity of the primary health care team to improve patient outcomes by optimising the role of nurses in care delivery. The BNC project will focus on the development of nurse-led (team-based) models of care in a range of primary health care settings, to increase the capacity of the primary health care team. The sites will be in geographically diverse locations and based on local population health needs.

This project will support a maximum of 35 nurses and their primary healthcare organisation, in two 18 month tranches, to implement nurse-led (team-based) models of care. Grant funding will be available for successful applicants. 

Program start dates:

  • Group 1: February 2019 - July 2020 (18 participants)
  • Group 2: October 2020 - March 2022 (17 participants)

Read more about the Building Nurse Capacity project and how to apply here.

Chronic Disease Management and Healthy Ageing for nurses in primary health care

Face to face education in the delivery of chronic disease management and healthy ageing for nurses working in primary health care. A total of 26 workshops will be delivered across Australia. 

This work aims to:

  • Support the professional development of nurses in primary health care
  • An increase in the capability of primary health care nurses to undertake planned, evidence-based approaches to chronic disease management and healthy ageing
  • Deliver relevant content that meets the local population health needs

Read more about the workshops. 


The Nursing in Primary Health Care Program has been funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.

NiPHC 2015-2018

APNA has funding from the Australian Government Department of Health to deliver the Nursing in Primary Health Care (NiPHC) Program over a four year period (2015–2018).

This Program supports two health workforce policy goals:

  • Build capacity among the primary health care nursing workforce by promoting the employment of, and providing support to, nurses working in primary health care settings.
  • Undertake reform and innovation in the primary health care nursing workforce, to better address the primary health care needs of Australian communities.

The NiPHC Program aims to build capacity amongst the primary health care nursing workforce by:

  • Improving employment opportunities, recruitment and retention of nurses in primary health care settings.
  • Modelling the delivery of innovative, effective clinical care by nurses in primary health care settings.
  • Ensuring that nurses working in primary health care settings have the knowledge and skills to deliver best practice clinical services in priority areas of primary health care.

The Program continues several projects delivered previously under the Nursing in General Practice (NiGP) Program, with a broadened view to include nurses working across all primary health care settings.

Transition to Practice Pilot Program 

APNA recognises that innovative strategies are needed to address recruitment and retention issues in the primary health care nursing workforce.

The Transition to Practice Pilot Program (TPPP) aims to test and model an accessible, structured yet flexible program to increase the confidence, competencies, skills and knowledge of both newly graduated and existing nurses starting work in primary health care settings.

The project will support the transition to primary health care of nurses in two streams:

  • Newly graduated nurses 
  • Experienced nurses leaving other areas of practice 

There will be two tranches in the three year period 2015 to 2018.

Tranche 1: April 2016 – March 2017

A 12 month transition to practice program for a total of 20-25 participants. Participants may be from either stream.

Tranche 2: April 2017 – March 2018

A 12 month transition to practice program for a total of 20-25 participants. Participants may be from either stream.

Read more about the Transition to Practice Pilot Program.

Education and Career Framework and Toolkit

This project will develop a range of career pathways (including their educational underpinnings) relevant to primary health care nurses in Australia, utilising the initial framework and toolkits developed by APNA.

It is anticipated this element will result in a practical toolkit of resources for employers, managers and for nurses, to support recruitment, retention and professional development, including a focus on population health and the development of nurse leader workforce capability. This work aims to achieve:

  • An education and career framework applicable to primary health care models and settings other than general practice.
  • An improved understanding of the career trajectories of nurses in primary health care amongst nurses and employers.
  • An increase in explicit employer-driven strategies to improve recruitment and retention of nurses in primary health care settings.

Read more about the Education and Career Framework.

Enhanced Nurse Clinics

The Enhanced Nurse Clinics are a series of service delivery innovations led by primary health care nurses that have application to similar settings in Australia. The sites will be in geographically diverse locations and based on local population health needs. This work aims to achieve:

  • Documented models of service innovation in primary health care led by primary health care nurses.
  • An understanding of factors (at personnel, site and program-support level) associated with the successful embedding of service delivery innovations led by primary health care nurses.
  • An understanding of the financial and economic costs and benefits of a range of service innovations.
  • An improvement in screening rates, early disease detection or indicators of sound chronic disease management and/or healthy ageing in target populations.

Read more about the Enhanced Nurse Clinics. 

Chronic Disease Management and Healthy Ageing for nurses in primary health care

Face to face education in the delivery of chronic disease management and healthy ageing for nurses working in primary health care. The workshops will be delivered across Australia. Twelve of the 36 workshops will be delivered in rural settings and have a clear mandate and strategy to improve chronic disease management and healthy ageing. 

This work aims to achieve:

  • An increase in the optimised capability of primary health care nurses to undertake planned, evidence-based approaches to chronic disease management and healthy ageing.
  • An increase in the routine collection and use of clinically-relevant data and indicators in clinical software packages. An improvement in identification of patients who need support in undertaking a structured approach to managing chronic disease and/or healthy ageing.
  • An improvement in indicators of sound chronic disease management and/or healthy ageing in target patients groups (such as cancer, cardiovascular, injury prevention, mental health, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, obesity, dementia, etc).
  • An increase in acceptance of structured approaches to chronic disease management and healthy ageing in primary health care settings.

Read more about the workshops. 


The Nursing in Primary Health Care Program has been funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.

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