Nurse-Performed Endoscopy: Implications for the Nursing Profession in Australia

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Increasing demands for health care globally often lead to discussions about expanding the involvement of nurses in a range of nontraditional roles. Several countries have introduced nurse endoscopists as a means of easing the burden of demand for a range of endoscopic procedures. A shortage of medical staff in Australia combined with increasing demand for endoscopy led to the implementation of nurse endoscopists as a pilot program in the state of Queensland, where a nurse practitioner model was implemented, and Victoria, where an advanced practice model was used. This article will discuss the implementation of and responses from the nursing, medical, and policy community to nurse-performed endoscopy in this country. Regarding health policy, access to cancer screening may be improved by providing nurses with advanced training to safely perform endoscopy procedures. Moreover, issues of nurse credentialing and payment need to be considered appropriate to each country’s health system model.

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