Strategic directions for developing the Australian general practice nurse role in cardiovascular disease management
Practice nursing is an integral component of British and New Zealand primary care, but in Australia it remains an emerging specialty. Despite an increased focus on the Australian practice nurse role, there has been limited strategic role development, particularly relating to national health priority areas. This paper reports the third stage of a Project exploring the Australian practice nurse role in the management of cardiovascular disease (CVD). This stage involved a consensus development conference, undertaken to identify strategic, priority recommendations for practice nurse role development. Key issues arising from the conference included: 1 Practice nurses have an important role in developing systems and processes for CVD management; 2 A change in the culture of general practice is necessary to promote acceptance of nurse-led CVD management; 3 Future research needs to evaluate specific models of care, incorporating outcome measures sensitive to nursing interventions; 4 Considerable challenges exist in conducting research in general practice; and 5 Changes in funding models are necessary for widespread practice nurse role development. The shifting of funding models provides evidence to support interdisciplinary practice in Australian general practice. The time is ripe, therefore, to engage in prospective and strategic planning to inform development of the practice nurse role.