Promoting leadership and management in Australian general practice nursing: what will it take?

Publisher:
Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of Nursing Management, 2008, 16 (7), pp. 846 - 852
Issue Date:
2008-01
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Aim:This paper outlines the current state of Australian practice nursing, describes the context of general practice and establishes the importance of promoting leadership and management in this setting. Background Australian general practice nurses have emerged as key stakeholders in primary health care. However, their role in leadership and management has been largely invisible. The reasons for this are multifactorial, including the delay to establish a strong professional organization, their negative power relationships with general medical practitioners, limited nursing leadership and poorly defined roles. To date, the impetus for practice nurse growth has been largely external to the nursing profession. Growth has been driven by the increasing burden of chronic disease and workforce shortages. This has further weakened the control of nurse leaders over the development of the specialty. Conclusions The Australian practice nurse role is at a crossroads. While the practice nurse role is a viable force to improve health outcomes, the growing strength of the practice nurse challenges traditional professional roles and practice patterns.
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