APNA's definition of primary health care nursing covers health, scope of practice, primary health care, roles and settings. We also explore general practice nursing and Phillips et al. six roles of the general practice nurse.
General practice nursing
A general practice nurse is an RN or EN who is employed by, or whose services are otherwise retained by, a general practice. There are approximately 14,000 nurses working within general practice, with around 63% of general practices employing at least one nurse.
General practice nursing is the fastest growing area within the healthcare sector and covers many areas of nursing practice including women’s health, men’s health, aged care, infection control, chronic disease management including cardiovascular, asthma and diabetes care, immunisation, cancer management, mental health, maternal and child health, health promotion, population health, wound management, illness prevention and much more.
With the return of focus to the primary healthcare sector, general practice nurses are increasingly exerting a critical role in delivering continuity of care to their patients, improving their health outcomes. Nurses are considered to be a key part of the forthcoming changes in the delivery of primary health care in this country.
General practice nursing offers a great opportunity to work at the forefront of primary health care in Australia in a variety of contexts, such as rural, urban, large or small practices or with discrete populations, such as migrant or refugee groups. Working collaboratively in an interdisciplinary team as a respected health professional ensures that general practice nursing is a valid and rewarding career choice for many nurses.
As a general practice nurse, membership with APNA can support you to keep up to date with industry news, advance your knowledge in specific areas of general practice nursing, safeguard your registration with quality and cost-effective professional indemnity insurance, and make informed career and professional decisions with access to the member-only Nurse Support Line.
So what are you waiting for?
For more information on the nurse role in general practice, including frameworks to describe the role, refer to the following documents and websites:
- National practice standards for nurses in general practice – Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation
Includes guidelines for supervision of enrolled nurses, professional development plans, job descriptions and more.
- Putting prevention into practice (Green Book) – Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
- General Practice National Nurse Survey Report 2012 – Australian Medicare Local Alliance
- Practice nursing in Australia – Parliament of Australia