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Exploring options to let primary care nurses take load off GPs

Let primary care nurses take a load off GPs

Nurses aren’t allowed to work to their full potential

Medicare funding requires GP-led service

Incentives to upskill are lacking

  • Count practice nurse time towards long and complex consultations (Medicare Level C and above) so that nurses can provide additional input without the GP losing financially.
  • Introduce primary care nurse prescribing models, supported by education scholarships to upskill nurses.
  • Increase Medicare Benefits Scheme nurse item numbers to support nurses and practices to develop new models of care.
  • Ensure the Workforce Incentive Program provides for the total cost of employing a nurse at a rate commensurate with hospital employment. Ensure this is paid to the nurse with study leave, contributions to continuing professional development and a qualification payment.
  • Provide scholarships for enrolled primary care nurses to become registered primary care nurses, creating a career path.
  • Establish a sustainable model of mentorship for Nurse Practitioner candidates and registered nurses undertaking training in diagnostics and prescribing.
  • Establish a national clinical training program that supports the development of advanced practice skills for Nurse Practitioner candidates and prepares them for independent and collaborative practice in primary care and community health.
  • Establish a mechanism for evaluating the impact of nurse-led initiatives in primary care on community access and patient-reported outcomes.

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