Ballarat Community Health is developing an Alcohol and Drugs Nurse Practitioner* service, due for commencement in 2018. This service will be the first of its kind in the Grampians region and provide clinical leadership from an advanced nursing perspective. It will aim to address unmet demand especially for complex withdrawal treatment, opioid replacement pharmacotherapy and advanced assessment and consultation for people with complex needs. Once established, the Nurse Practitioner service will add much value to our existing Alcohol and Drugs services through providing senior nursing expertise for some of our most vulnerable clients.
*Nurse Practitioners are a small but rapidly-growing specialist workforce in Victoria, based in both hospital and community settings. A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who is educated and endorsed under Section 95 of the National Law to function autonomously in an advanced and extended clinical role. The nurse practitioner role includes assessment and management using nursing knowledge and skills. The role may include, but is not limited to:
- direct referral of patients to other healthcare professionals
- prescribing medications
- ordering diagnostic investigations.