Divisions of general practice and practice nurse development in Australia
Contemporary Nurse 26(1): 37-47
ISSN/ISBN: 1037-6178 PMID: 18041982 DOI: 10.5172/conu.2007.26.1.37
Nurses are consistently being seen as an integral part of a team approach to primary care service delivery, with significant policy initiatives being directed towards their employment in Australian general practice. Furthermore they are being increasingly recognised to add a value to general practice that is more than simply the 'sum of its parts'.This recognition, for GPs and practices, has often occurred on the back of an experience that has been provided or illustrated by a Division of General Practice. Divisions as the face of 'organised general practice' in this country have been instrumental in providing a broad range of support strategies and development opportunities for practice nursing, especially over the last five to ten years. Essentially, the role of Divisions has been about increasing connectivity, and acting as 'brokers' of information, opportunities, and in some cases even resources. Divisions have made a significant contribution to achievements in practice nurse development, but this has not been without challenges. As the evolution of Australian practice nursing reaches a crucial stage, Divisions can play a pivotal role in advancing this development but must seek partnerships to be effective and should continue to broaden their scope.