The move to national registration of health professionals and the creation of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) provides both challenges and opportunities for the regulation of nurse practitioners (NPs) in Australia.Data sources:
National and state health policy documents, accessible on the Internet, concerning the regulation and endorsement processes for NPs in Australia were examined.Conclusions:
The similarities between two of the previous jurisdictional NP endorsement processes in New South Wales and Victoria provide a common ground on which to build a robust national system. However, there are also key differences between these two states. These differences were mainly in the evidence required to assess competency of NP applicants and the authority to prescribe medications. All Victorian NP applicants were required to complete an approved medication subject at a master's level.Implications for practice:
A consistent endorsement process that delivers NPs of the highest standard and allows for efficient use of their skills and expertise is vital. This needs to be performed with the aim of providing high-quality care in a regulatory environment that protects the public and clearly articulates the level of competence expected of all NPs.