Advanced Practice Nursing in Australia


APN Role Exists in Country Today:

Advanced Practice Nurse (clinical nurse, consultant)
Nurse Practitioner

Nationally Certified:
Yes (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia)

Recognize Foreign Licensure:

Treatment Authority:

Prescribing Authority:

Practice Autonomously:
No (Advanced Practice Nurse); Yes -based on Province (Nurse Practitioner)

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia


The Advanced Practice Nurse role in Australia was established in 1990 (Sheer & Wong, 2008).  Additionally, Australia’s Nurse practitioner Role was established in 2000.  The role of the Advanced Practice Nurses give the opportunity for registered nurses to diagnose and consult medical providers, but they may not order tests, refer to specialists, and may or may not have prescribing rights based on some protocols.  The Nurse Practitioner role in Australia does allow for prescribing, ordering of tests, diagnosing, and referral to specialists, but these vary according to Province.  The Nurse Practitioner role is allowed to practice autonomously in some provinces (Government of Western Australia Department of Health, n.d.).

Education and Certification

Education required for both the Advanced Practice Nurse and Nurse Practitioner roles requires a Graduate Diploma (graduate-level education) or Masters Level.  The Nurse Practitioner role also requires 5 years of clinical practice as a residency prior to being able to have prescribing rights.  Several Advanced Practice Nurse and Nurse Practitioner Programs are available in the country.


Various specialties exist for Nurse Practitioners.

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Government of Australia Department of Health (n.d.).  What is a nurse practitioner.  Retrieved from:

Sheer, B. & Wong, F.K. (2008).  The development of advanced nursing practice globally.  Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 40(3),204-211.