A nurse practitioner (NP) is an endorsed registered nurse (RN) who works at an advanced practice level. They assess and manage clients using their nursing knowledge and skills. Their extended clinical role allows them to request diagnostic investigations, prescribe medicines and receive/make referrals.

NPs have:

  • expert clinical knowledge
  • advanced specialised education
  • complex decision-making skills
  • clinical reasoning and diagnostic skills
  • the ability to initiate and evaluate therapeutic management plans

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) defines the NP role as being 'grounded in the nursing profession's values, knowledge, theories and practise and provides innovative and flexible health care delivery that compliments other health care providers.'

Being an expert-by-experience is not enough to be endorsed as a nurse practitioner. Neither is accepting more delegated medical tasks or technical procedures.

An RN is endorsed as an NP when they meet the requirements of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). This endorsement is in accordance with Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) No 86a.

For further information check out the Nurse Practitioner Resources page.

Role of an NP

NPs work to improve health outcomes. Their role is based on patient and population needs and was developed in response to the increase in nursing specialisation and the need to address inequalities in healthcare access.

NPs value clinical nursing and provide an exciting addition to the clinical career paths for the nursing profession.

Extensive national and international studies show that NPs increase health care access and cost effectiveness. Research also indicates that patients accept the NP role and see it as a safe and effective part of their healthcare.

NP endorsement

You can find guidelines and resources regarding NP endorsement at the NMBA's Endorsement and Notations.

NP services evaluation

Evaluation plays a critical role in the effectiveness of NP services. This ensures the delivery of quality care is responsive to community needs.

Evaluation of local health district NP services includes ongoing monitoring and review. This is consistent with the principles of continuous quality improvement, performance management and local health district evaluation strategies.

Evaluation is based on the quality dimensions of:

  • safety
  • effectiveness
  • appropriateness
  • consumer participation
  • access
  • efficiency

See our service analysis and planning tool for additional information on implementing the role of NPs.

Matthew Lutze, Principal Advisor of Nursing Practice and Informatics, Nursing and Midwifery Office

As the Principal Advisor, Matthew:

  • provides strategic policy advice on clinical practice and informatics matters
  • leads, coordinates and develops public policy in relation to clinical practice, informatics and workforce issues
  • leads and supports teams of NSW Health staff and key external stakeholders in the design, development and implementation of state-wide projects in the areas of clinical practice and informatics
  • provides expert guidance and clinical advice ​to the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer (CNMO), the Ministry of Health and Government on issues relating to nursing practice and informatics

Contact us

For additional information contact Principal Advisor Matthew Lutze via email at Matthew.Lutze@health.nsw.gov.au or call the Nursing and Midwifery Office on (02) 9391 9528.

Current as at: Friday 5 March 2021
Contact page owner: Nursing and Midwifery