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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 24 September 2019) . . Page.. 3769 ..

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Children, Youth and Families, Minister for Disability, Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety, Minister for Health, Minister for Urban Renewal) (11.42), in reply: I thank colleagues in the Assembly for their support of this bill. The ACT government is committed to building a strong, sustainable nursing workforce and nurse practitioners with their collaborative model of care are and will be an integral part of responding to increased service demand and enhancing community satisfaction with our health services in both our hospitals and community settings.

A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who is experienced in their clinical speciality and has attained higher education and endorsement by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia to provide patient care in an advanced and extended clinical role. Nurse practitioners provide high levels of clinically focused nursing care for people and communities with health concerns of varying complexity.

Nurse practitioners play a vital role in providing safe, effective, health services, improving healthcare access, enabling positive health outcomes for consumers and enhancing consumer satisfaction with healthcare delivery. The nurse practitioner role represents just part of the complex response to our dynamic and evolving healthcare environment, providing highly skilled clinical leadership with increased autonomy for nurses working within a collaborative model of care.

The nurse practitioner role also assists in the recruitment and retention strategy for nursing, providing a career pathway that recognises advanced and extended nursing practice roles. It is therefore vital that we recognise this valuable nursing role while providing the necessary supports required for role implementation within all levels of healthcare services.

The nurse practitioners collaborative model of care responds to building capacity to reduce health vulnerability. The healthcare environment is characterised by dramatic changes and increasing pressures experienced across all jurisdictions. Nurse practitioners have a role in strengthening the Australian health workforce capacity to meet increasing demands and community expectations.

The ACT government is committed to the delivery of safe, appropriate and high quality health services that respond to the community’s needs. National standards for practice credentialing by an employer ensure that nurse practitioners can provide high quality, patient-centred care. Nurse practitioners will be credentialed by their employer and have a defined scope of clinical practice to support the delivery of safe and high quality health care within the ACT.

In 2017 the ACT government commissioned an independent review of governance arrangements for nurse practitioners. That identified that the existing governance and policy infrastructure duplicated other regulator responsibilities and increased the financial and administrative burden for consumers, employer organisations and individual nurse practitioners.

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