Nurse clinics: Collaboration and connectedness

Earlier this month the RACGP published their position on independent nurse-led clinics in primary health care. Many of the points made in this policy are compelling, including that to ensure whole-patient care and to avoid fragmentation of care, nursing services should be provided in a comprehensive and integrated primary health care setting wherever possible.

Over the next three years APNA will continue work initiating and supporting nurse clinics through the demonstration model to provide blueprints for the innovative delivery of clinical care by nurses in primary health care. The projects focus on developing nurse clinics in primary care in collaboration with primary health care nurses, the general practice or healthcare team, consumers and peak health organisations to address evidence-based, locally identified health needs.

  • What do you think of the RACGP’s position?
  • Are you interested in establishing a nurse clinic in primary health care to address your population health needs?
  • Have you found there to be barriers to operating a nurse clinic?
  • Have you worked out a successful nurse clinic model you’d like to share?

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4 thoughts on “Nurse clinics: Collaboration and connectedness

  1. I run an Independent private Nurse clinic in Ear Care using the microsuction procedure.
    There are clinics all over NZ now but only a handful in Australia. I am on the Gold Coast. My barrier is ear syringing is medicare funded at the GP and there is no funding as yet for my service. There is a code for ear toilet under a microscope, but as I am not a Nurse Practitioner I do not qualify for a medicare number even though I have extensive qualifications and 8 years experience in Specialised Ear care. Often the people I see have seen their GP 3 times and they have a lot of pain and their ears are really blocked. it may take week or months to get into the hospital for a funded service.

  2. Hi Tracey
    You are right – there seems to be a lot of barriers at times to providing this service to patients
    I am interested to hear how you are currently working ie are you in a private practice of your own and billing them privately? Are you situated within a specialists rooms ? / are you situated in a General Practice?
    There may be others out there who would like some guidance around how you have set up your practice
    Look forward to hearing from you
    Kind regards

  3. I would like to think that APNA have an opposing position on the RACGP’s position re independent nurse led clinics.
    I am a nurse practitioner and believe very strongly that if NP led clinics were established many people would receive timely appropriate cost effective health care.
    My view is that often nurses who work in GP surgeries work under a medical model approach to health care as does many big hospitals and health facilities. They work very long hours and for very little in return.
    True Comprehensive Primary Health Care sees a model of care operating to enhance self-efficacy and self-management not dependency; and all health professionals working within this type of model utilise skills and the systems to bring about the best for their patients. Nurses do this best.
    GP practice models carry the flag of ‘PHC’ but often don’t operate like a PHC facility. The same is for remote regions. Amazingly!
    I note that the RACGP endorses independent nurse led clinics in remote areas. Why is this? Australia’s remote areas have some of the most complex sick and culturally diverse populations – so why is it OK for nurses to run clinics there but not in mainstream Australia?
    My view is that nurses are the leaders when it comes to the provision of comprehensive PHC – providing and organising for access to , appropriate and affordable health care for all cohorts. Nurses truly are the professional area that provides the best quality holistic primary health care services in Australia. We are affordable and provide quality care- there’s the difference!
    Nurse led clinics, or at least nurse practitioner led clinics should be everywhere!

    I would love for APNA to support me as a nurse practitioner to operate the first Nurse led clinic in the region I work in.

  4. Hi Margaret,
    You are correct on so many levels.
    Of course GP’s want to retain their position as gate keepers of care. This translates as a monopoly on health care resulting in a refusal to allow nurses and other health practitioners to work to their full scope of practice and restriction on innovative delivery of health care i.e. outside of the confines of your office and leather chair.
    I wish you success in your clinic enterprise and hope that you have the support of APNA and your nursing peers.

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