What they do
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who provide advanced nursing care to patients. This may include undertaking diagnoses and health assessments, prescribing medications and therapies, and referring to specialist medical practitioners or other health professionals.
They develop individual care plans for patients for a variety of acute and chronic illnesses, and promote health by participating in health education and other health promotion activities. Nurse practitioners work in direct service delivery positions throughout Western Australia.
Nurse practitioners may work in general medical practices, community health practices, private and public hospitals, correctional facilities, aged care facilities and after hours clinics.
They may be required to do shift work including weekends and public holidays, and their working times may be irregular.
Tools and technologies
Nurse practitioners regularly use computers to maintain client records, prescribe medications and consult pharmaceutical manuals. They may also administer medicines, such as vaccinations. They may require a driver’s licence in order to visit patients in their homes, or attend health clinics at various locations in the community.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a nurse practitioner, you must first become a qualified registered nurse. You must also complete between two and three years of clinical practice in a selected specialisation and obtain a postgraduate qualification in nurse practitioner.
To become a registered nurse, you usually need to study a degree in nursing at university. Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant nursing courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
Curtin University offers a two year Masters of Nursing Practice and Edith Cowan University offers an 18 month Master of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner). These are the only universities offering postgraduate nurse practitioner courses in Western Australia.
Required registration and licensing
To work as a nurse practitioner in Western Australia, you will need to obtain registration from the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. You will also need to hold a current Working with Children Check (WWC Check). Visit the Working with Children website for information on how to apply for a WWC Check.