Collaborative arrangements for Australian nurse practitioners: a policy analysis

Document Type


Publication details

Cashin, A 2014, 'Collaborative arrangements for Australian nurse practitioners: a policy analysis', Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, vol. 26, no.10, pp. 550-554.

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Peer Reviewed




In Australia in 2010, nurse practitioners (NPs) were granted legislated access to the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) as providers. These schemes are the federal schemes for third-party reimbursement for health care and medications. As a condition of access to the schemes, it was determined that collaborative arrangements needed to be in place as part of eligibility criteria for NPs. This article is the first published policy analysis of this determination.

Data sources

Published literature and available grey literature (including meeting minutes), and media content, was accessed and analyzed.


The policy that was the National Health Collaborative arrangements for Nurse Practitioners Determination to amend the Australian National Health Act 1953 was a success. The policy led to NP access as providers to the MBS and PBS in Australia.

Implications for practice

Understanding the policy process as it relates to the determination of the need for collaborative arrangements demystifies the process and origins of the policy for NPs in Australia. Understanding the determination means NPs in Australia will not artificially reduce scope of practice based on recommendations from the medical lobby. Clear research direction is provided that may inform the next policy cycle.

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