Consultation on the scope of practice and qualifications for nurse practitioners

11 January 2013

The Nursing Council of New Zealand (the Council) is consulting on changes to the scope of practice and prescribed qualifications for nurse practitioners so that these align with the proposals under the Medicines Amendment Bill that nurse practitioners become authorised prescribers. This change means that when the Bill is enacted nurse practitioners will be able to prescribe medicines that are within their scope of practice and competence to prescribe. 

The proposed changes to the Medicines Act 1981 are consistent with nurse practitioner being a prescribing scope of practice and the education and training in prescribing being included in the prescribed qualification for the scope of practice. 

At present nurse practitioners can undertake a qualification to become a nurse practitioner that does not include prescribing.  They can also apply for registration as a nurse practitioner without prescribing rights. 

This consultation is limited to this aspect of the scope of practice for nurse practitioners.  The Council intends to consult again on the nurse practitioner scope of practice and qualifications when it has completed a consultation on nurse prescribing. This is because the introduction of further nurse prescribing will have implications for the post graduate education framework including the programmes for nurse practitioners. 

The Council is interested in your views on the consultation.  

Consultation on the Scope of Practice Nurse Practitioners (PDF, 291 KB)

A separate submission form is available for download.

Submission form Nurse Practitioners (Word, 39 KB)

The closing date for submissions is 12 November 2012. Please email your submission to 

Alternatively you may send your submission to: 

Erin Nelson
Nursing Council of New Zealand
PO Box 9644
Wellington 6141
New Zealand

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