Funding available for nurse-delivered, team-based care

Morgan Liotta

21/11/2023 2:42:59 PM

Incentive payments are being offered to help establish nurse clinics that contribute to building the capacity of primary healthcare teams.

Young woman with nurse
Successful nurse clinics will receive 18 months of support from APNA and a $12,000 incentive payment.

General practices are among those being encouraged to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for funding support aimed at nurse-delivered, team-based care models.
The call comes amid the upcoming rollout of the second phase of the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) three-year Nursing in Primary Health Care (NiPHC) project, the Building Nurse Capacity (BNC) program, funded by the Department of Health and Aged Care.
Running from 2023–26, the NiPHC comprises three separate projects:

  1. Transition to Practice Program – to increase the knowledge, skills and confidence of recently graduated and experienced nurses starting work in primary healthcare settings
  2. Building Nurse Capacity – to promote, increase and improve the innovative design, implementation and assessment of nurse delivered, team-based approaches to primary healthcare service delivery to improve community health outcomes across Australia
  3. Chronic Disease Management and Healthy Ageing – to support the professional development of nurses by providing evidence-based, best practice education on management of chronic diseases and healthy ageing for nurses working in primary healthcare

The BNC program provides grant funding and comprehensive support for nurses to improve patient care and health outcomes by helping with development of nurse-delivered, team-based care models – or nurse clinics – such as diabetes clinics within general practices. 
Successful nurse clinics will receive 18 months of support from APNA and a $12,000 incentive payment, with five nurse clinics also offered a six-month extension, with continued APNA support and an extra $4000.
According to Australia’s peak nurses’ body, nurses play a vital role in the delivery of team-based and multidisciplinary care, particularly for patients with chronic and complex conditions. The BNC program supports strengthening of the capacity, role, and utilisation of the primary health nursing workforce, to address community healthcare needs.
In a 2022 submission, the RACGP highlighted the valuable role of nurse practitioners in primary care as part of a GP-led practice team, delivering ‘integrated and coordinated care, either co-located or external to the general practice location’.
EOIs for the BNC program are open to nurses working in primary healthcare anywhere in Australia, with those working in rural and remote communities, and from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and nurse practitioner workforces particularly encouraged to apply.
The next intake for the second program that sits under the NiPHC banner will recruit 36 nurse clinics nationally.
BNC project EOIs for the establishment of nurse clinics should focus on any one of the five key priority areas: 
  • Cancer control (screening/prevention) 
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Diabetes 
  • Mental health 
  • Injury prevention and control (healthy ageing/frailty)
The most recent APNA workforce survey reveals that one in four nurses are considering leaving the primary healthcare setting, following the trend of the previous year’s survey.
These results have renewed calls for increased Federal Government investment to ensure nurses are retained in primary care under their correct scope of practice, with multidisciplinary models of care as part of a Medicare reform, and committing to funding of the National Nursing Workforce Strategy. The RACGP supports nurse practitioners as part of a GP-led practice team, but recently criticised the opening of nurse-led urgent care clinics in the ACT.
EOIs for the BNC program are open until midnight, Friday 5 January 2024. More information and to submit an EOI is available online.
Details about upcoming Zoom drop-in sessions to learn more about the program and ask questions are also on APNA’s webpage, as well as BNC guidelines.
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