Master of Advanced Nursing Practice (Nurse Practitioner) Q&A

Course Coordinator Di Crellin answers the most frequently asked questions on studying a Master of Nursing Practice (Nurse Practitioner) at the University of Melbourne.

Image of nurses reviewing patient notes

Who is this course ideally suited to / How much nursing experience do I need to apply?

The Master of Advanced Practice Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) is designed for registered nurses working in advanced practice who are interested in pursuing a career as a nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioners are clinical leaders responsible for direct clinical care, promoting evidence-based clinical practice, contributing to that evidence-base and leading service improvement. This career path is ideally suited to nurses with clinical expertise who want to advance their clinically-based practice in these domains.

The University of Melbourne (UoM) program has been designed to support students to meet the Nurse Practitioner Standards for Practice and is an NMBA-approved program of study leading to endorsement as a nurse practitioner. To be eligible for this course you will need a minimum of 5 years of experience as a registered nurse. Your experience must include two years in a specific clinical field and two years of advanced practice in the same clinical field. The NMBA provide a definition for ‘advanced practice nursing’ to help potential applicants for this course to determine whether their experience can be considered advanced practice. This is available from their website.

Do I need to have clinical experience in the specialisation I am interested in undertaking?

Yes – the criteria for endorsement are very specific about the need for applicants for endorsement to have a specified field of clinical practice. Nurses applying to the NMBA for endorsement must demonstrate that their experience is in this field and that their education has prepared them to practice in this field. For these reasons the criteria for entry to the MANP(NP) program at UoM requires you to demonstrate that you have experience in your clinical field.

Can you explain each of the specialisations available?

The MANP(NP) program is designed for nurses from any field of practice. The content aims to support students to meet the Nurse Practitioner Standards for Practice and the focus is on developing the clinical leadership and decision-making skill needed to practice as a nurse practitioner. Students are supported by a Clinical Teaching and Supervision team comprised of experts in their field who will support the student to develop the necessary clinical expertise needed to practice as a nurse practitioner in their clinical field. Students completing this course come from a broad range of fields and include nurses practicing in mental health, emergency, palliative care, aged care, drug and alcohol, paediatric immunisation, renal, stroke, intensive care and rheumatology just to name a few. These nurses are employed in public and private services in roles that serve inpatients and outpatients.

Should I choose the coursework or research option?

If you interested in a career as a nurse practitioner your best option is to complete a Master of Advanced Nursing Practice via coursework. This will allow you to complete either the approved program MANP (NP) or to enrol in the MANP and select appropriate subjects so that your program of study can be considered by the Board to be substantially equivalent to an NMBA-Approved program of study. Applicants considering the latter are encouraged to discuss their subject selection with the Nurse Practitioner teaching team to ensure that they chose the best options.

How does this course fit around my current nursing practice/career?

The MANP(NP) uses a blended teaching model which means that some of the content is delivered on campus and some online. On campus classes are an opportunity for experienced nurses to share their experiences and knowledge with each other and engage with the range of professional and clinical leaders who participate in the program. As students are working while studying these classes are scheduled in blocks to allow students to roster their shifts around these days. Online learning allows students to complete remaining content more flexibly so that they can fit it around their other work and family commitments

The Nurse Practitioner teaching team are always willing to speak to potential students about the nurse practitioner path and answer questions about the program and their eligibility. To contact a member of this team please contact health-hub@unimelb.edu.au.