Scopes of practice

Under the HPCA Act, every nurse has a scope of practice. The scopes of practice and qualifications are listed below. The three scopes of practice are:

  • Registered Nurse
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Enrolled Nurse.

Conditions placed in scope of practice

The Act allows the Council to include conditions in a nurse’s scope of practice describing the specific area of practice he or she may work in. These conditions may apply to nurse practitioners, registered nurses or enrolled nurses.  The common class conditions applied to nurses registered under the Nurses Act 1977 are included in the table below.

The Council can also place other conditions in a nurse’s scope of practice to ensure competence or safety of the public. Examples of these conditions include the requirement to complete professional development hours or to practice under supervision. All conditions are shown on a nurse’s practising certificate. Not all conditions are displayed on the public register and employers can contact the Council for more information.

How nurses were transferred into the new scopes

The following table outlines how registration under the Nurses Act translated to the new scopes of practice.

Registration
(Under the Nurses Act 1977)

Scope of Practice
(Effective: 18 Sept. 2004)

Conditions

Registered Comprehensive Nurse Registered Nurse  
Registered General & Obstetric Nurse Registered Nurse May practise only in general and obstetric nursing
Registered Psychiatric Nurse Registered Nurse May practise only in mental health nursing
Registered Psychopaedic Nurse Registered Nurse May practise only in settings which provide services for consumers with intellectual disabilities
Registered General Nurse Registered Nurse May practise only in general nursing
Registered Obstetric Nurse Registered Nurse May practise only within a maternity setting under the direction of a midwife or a medical practitioner
Nurse Practitioner Nurse Practitioner May practise (and prescribe) only within a specific designated area of practice

The sections below give more details for specific nursing roles.

Enrolled nurses practise under the direction …

Read more »

Registered nurses use nursing knowledge and judgement …

Read more »

Nurse practitioners are expert nurses who work within a specific area …

Read more »

Changing the conditions in your scope of practice.

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Downloads

See each section for relevant downloads

Enrolled nurse

Registered nurse

Nurse practitioner

Change of condition