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Fact sheet: Endorsement as a nurse practitioner

Download a PDF copy of this Fact sheet: Endorsement as a nurse practitioner (168KB).


The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) undertakes functions as set by the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law). The NMBA regulates the practice of nursing and midwifery in Australia, and one of its key roles is to protect the public. The NMBA does this by developing registration standards, professional codes, guidelines and standards for practice which together establish the requirements for the professional and safe practice of nurses and midwives in Australia.

The Registration standard: Endorsement as a nurse practitioner describes the necessary qualifications and experience that a registered nurse must demonstrate when applying for and maintaining endorsement as a nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioners are expected to practise within the relevant NMBA-approved standards for practice and decision-making frameworks.

The following questions answer common queries about the change from the Endorsement as a nurse practitioner registration standard (2011) to the Registration standard: Endorsement as a nurse practitioner (2015).

This fact sheet applies to nurses and nurse practitioners who hold registration as a nurse in Australia, who are applying for, or maintaining, endorsement as a nurse practitioner.

Yes. The NMBA has introduced a revised Registration standard: Endorsement as a nurse practitioner (2015).

This standard replaces the Endorsement as a nurse practitioner registration standard (2011).

The standard takes effect on 1 June 2016.

The NMBA has made minor revisions to the existing registration standard to reflect the current Nurse practitioner standards for practice (2014). Feedback from the NMBA consultation showed that the current standard is working well but minor amendments are needed to improve its clarity.

If you are a nurse practitioner the following areas may require a change in your practice and/or evidence that you need to provide to demonstrate that the requirement has been met, including:

  • Use of the term ‘advanced nursing practice’: the reference to ‘advanced practice nursing’ in criteria 2. under ‘What must I do?’ has been amended to ‘advanced nursing practice’. This is to recognise that ‘advanced practice nursing’ and ‘advanced nursing practice’ are different levels of nursing practice. 
  • Definition of ‘nurse practitioner’: the definition from the Nurse practitioner standards for practice (2014) has replaced the existing definition in the standard. 
  • Use of ‘qualification’: the definition has been amended and expanded to distinguish between nursing-related masters at postgraduate level and other non-nursing masters programs. 
  • Clinical experience: ‘clinical’ has been added to the criterion: ‘5,000 hours advanced clinical nursing practice’ to emphasise the clinical aspect of the requirements for endorsement. 
  • Ongoing requirements for endorsement: these have been made clearer to maintain compliance with the current NMBA-approved standards and guidelines. In particular the NMBA’s Registration standard: Recency of practice clarifies that nurse practitioners are required to demonstrate recency of practice at the nurse practitioner (advanced practice nursing) level to retain the endorsement.

You need to familiarise yourself with the revised standard before 1 June 2016.

During the transition period (1 February to 31 May 2016), we encourage you to reflect on your practice using the revised standard, and to complete continuing professional development (CPD) activities that will help you address self-identified areas of learning.

If you are currently enrolled in a NMBA-approved program of study leading to endorsement as a nurse practitioner and you are due to graduate after 1 June 2016, your program of study is still recognised as a NMBA-approved program. When you have successfully completed the NMBA-approved program the revised standard will apply to your application for endorsement.

Page reviewed 25/01/2024