World first framework for rural and remote nursing

Department of Health

A world first guide addressing the unique demands and challenges for Registered Nurses in rural and regional Australia has been released today.

Communities across Australia rely on Registered Nurses to provide primary care, acute care and aged care. They are skilled, capable and trusted healthcare practitioners often working in some of the most rural and remote parts of the country.

The National Rural and Remote Nursing Generalist Framework 2023-2027 is a guide for Registered Nurses working outside urban areas, as well as employers, mentors, and educators.

As well as describing skills and capabilities, the Framework emphasises the importance of clinical decision-making judgement of the patient’s situation, culturally safe practice, collaboration, and partnerships with clients, families and communities.

The Framework was developed by the Office of the National Rural Health Commissioner, Adjunct Professor Ruth Stewart, and Adjunct Professor Shelley Nowlan, with guidance and contributions from members of a national steering committee.

The steering committee includes members from research, industry, unions, and First Nations groups.

The Framework is available at

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister, Emma McBride:

“As a country and a society determined to bridge the health gaps between city and country, we need more Registered Nurses in rural and remote communities.

“Rural and remote nurses are dedicated, highly trained health professionals who are key to the health outcomes of their communities.

“The Framework will assist in matching rural and remote communities with nurses who understand the challenges of their unique health care context and want to make a difference.”

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister, Ged Kearney:

“Nurses play a critical role in our health system – they are often deeply embedded in our communities, caring for people and families everywhere from the local clinic to an aged care home.

“People in rural and regional Australia deserve the very best care from their health practitioners.

“Nurses are often the first point of contact in rural and regional communities. This Framework is about fostering best practice to improve health outcomes.”

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