Key messages

  • The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia has prepared a fact sheet on advanced practice nursing.
  • Nurses practising at an advanced level working with areas including nurse endoscopy, nurse cystoscopy and Nurse Practitioner.
  • In Victoria advanced practice nurse edoscopy is being supported via the State Endoscopy Training Centre established at Austin Health, in partnership with the participating health services.

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (national board) has prepared a fact on sheet on advanced practice nursing, as well as the Guidelines on endorsement as a nurse practitioner, which define ‘advanced practice nursing’ as the application of advanced levels of knowledge, skill and experience by the nurse to the nurse–patient/client relationship.

The national board recognises the basis of advanced practice as the high degree of knowledge, skill and experience applied in the nurse–patient/client relationship in order to achieve optimal outcomes through critical analysis, problem solving and accurate decision making.

Advanced practice in endoscopy nursing in Victoria

In Victoria advanced practice nursing has been put into place with the establishment of the first nurse endoscopist (NE) service at Austin Health through the Workforce Innovation Grant Program 2010–11. Building on this project, Health Workforce Australia (HWA) commenced the Advanced Practice in Endoscopy Nursing Program in February 2012 as part of its Expanded Scope of Practice Program.

The HWA NE program aimed to identify an innovative model of extended scope of practice for NEs and an associated training program that could be implemented nationally. In Victoria, the HWA NE program was provided in partnership with the Department of Health & Human Services through a consortium of health services and four implementation sites at the Alfred Health, Austin Health, Western Health and Monash Health. As the lead organisation Austin Health has worked with the Victorian consortium to develop the HWA NE Training Pathway and has established a model of coordinating and implementing training at Victorian implementation sites.

The University of Wollongong completed the evaluation of the HWA Advanced Practice in Endoscopy Nursing Program in July 2014. The HWA project evaluation focused on the safety and quality impacts and future sustainability of the reforms.

The final report of the Evaluation of Health Workforce Australia Advanced Practice in Nurse Endoscopy Project is available at the bottom of the page.

HWA has also produced the Advanced practice endoscopy nursing credentialing guide as a resource to support the NE program.

State Endoscopy Training Centre

In 2013–14 the Victorian Government provided funding to establish the State Endoscopy Training Centre (SETC) at Austin Health.

The role of the SETC is to lead, coordinate and provide the HWA Nurse Endoscopy Training Pathway for gastroenterology nurses, coordinate initial training of nurse endoscopists and add value to the training of local staff.

The SETC is structured in a way that allows the endoscopy training to be delivered through a multi-site partnership arrangement with health services seeking to establish and provide multidisciplinary team-based nurse endoscopic services.

Victorian Nurse Endoscopy Program

The key features of Victorian NE program are its requirements for:

  • a multidisciplinary team-based approach to service delivery
  • health services to demonstrate their readiness as an organisation to support a NE service
  • NE trainees to have the necessary prerequisites to successfully complete the nurse endoscopy training program under the supervision of a medical consultant.

The Victorian NE program will be reviewed and evaluated in three years.

Further information

A ‘frequently asked questions’ sheet has been prepared to provide key information about the NE program.