The status of Australian nurse practitioners: The first national census

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A five-section questionnaire was mailed to all 234 authorised Australian nurse practitioners in late 2007. An 85% response rate was achieved (202 responses). Respondents had a mean age of 47.0 years and 84.2% were women. Only 145 nurse practitioners (72% of respondents) reported being employed in Australia at the time of the census. Emergency nurse practitioners were the most commonly employed nationally (26.9%). Nearly one third of employed nurse practitioners reported that they were still awaiting approval to prescribe medications despite this being a core legislated skill. Over 70% stated that lack of Medicare provider numbers and lack of authority to prescribe through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme was extremely limiting to their practice. These findings are consistent with the international literature describing establishment of reformative health care roles.

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Journal Article

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