Department of Health

Key messages

  • The Department of Health and Human Services (the department) supports growth of the Nurse Practitioner (NP) role through the Victorian Nurse Practitioner Program (VNPP).
  • NP models of care are now well established across the Victoria public health system.  As a result, VNPP funding will now shift focus to assist health services to provide mentorship and supervision to registered nurses on a pathway to endorsement as a NP.
  • A new Ministerial approval published in the Victoria Government Gazette, 23 July 2020, revoked all previous approvals governing NP prescribing in this state, replacing them with a single Ministerial approval that approves Victorian NPs to obtain, use, sell or supply (prescribe) any Schedule 2, 3, 4 or 8 poisons in the lawful practice of his or her profession (within scope of practice or area of expertise).

    Victorian NP Prescribing

    The ‘Victorian Nurse Practitioner Prescribing Arrangements’ consultation undertaken between October and December 2019 asked Victorians to respond to a survey regarding the safety and risks associated with a new Ministerial approval governing Victoria’s NP prescribing rights. A Summary Report including all quantitative data and key themes was released, July 23 2020.

    After further consultation with stakeholders, it was agreed that a new Ministerial approval be published in the Victoria Government Gazette, authorising Victorian NP to obtain, use, sell or supply any Schedule 2,3,4 or 8 poison within their scope of practice. This approval removes predetermined formularies and the need for an associated notation on a Victorian NPs registration.

    The new Ministerial approval was published in General Gazette Number G29, dated 23 July 2020, revoking all previous approvals. For more information, download the FAQ page below which will guide Victorian NP, employers and other stakeholders.

    For a National perspective, visit the Professional Codes & Guidelines and Factsheets pages developed by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).

    For further guidance regarding the regulatory and legislative impacts of the new approval governing health practitioner prescribing in Victoria, see Drugs and Poisons.

    Victorian Nurse Practitioner Program (VNPP)

    In 2020, the Victorian Nurse Practitioner Program has shifted its focus from model development activities. Funding will be targeted to health services committed to providing the supervision and mentorship of registered nurses that have, or intend to commence, a Master of Nurse Practitioner.

    Organisations that can demonstrate they have a model of care established, in development, or can describe another organisational model they wish to emulate, will be considered in a competitive application process. Clear governance arrangements and an approved business model will also be required.

    All eligible health services are encouraged to apply, however rural and regional organisations will be prioritised, given the limited capacity to implement NP roles in those settings.

    Applications using the 2020 Victorian Nurse Practitioner Candidate Support Packages Application Template will close no later than Thursday 29 October 2020 at 5:00pm.

    Please note that late, incomplete or unsigned applications will not be considered.

    For further information, please contact Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine Workforce at email

    Nurse Practitioner Scholarships

    The Victorian Nurse Practitioner Program (VNPP) scholarship program has been combined with other postgraduate nursing and midwifery scholarships.
    Further information, see Postgraduate nursing and midwifery scholarships

    NMBA endorsement standards for NPs

    The NMBA has published the approved Registration Standard for endorsement as a NP. All queries regarding the application process should be directed to the NMBA. Access to Medicare Benefits Scheme and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

    For information about how to register with Medicare to access the Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS), see the Medicare website.

    For information about the drugs NPs can access through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) rebate, see the PBS website.

    Reviewed 14 September 2020


    Contact details

    Nursing and Midwifery Workforce

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