Innovation in nursing: nurse led models of health care are addressing service gaps

Professor Karen Francis1, Dr Kathleen Tori1

1School Of Nursing, University Of Tasmania, Newnham Campus, Launceston, Australia


Innovative nursing models which address health service gaps are not only required but essential to meet future demands. Nurses and midwives are uniquely qualified  to provide optimal patient care across a number of health-related environments given opportunity, education and practise. As the largest group of healthcare professionals the implementation of nurse led models of health care are proving beneficial in areas of high demand or workforce shortages, particularly in rural and remote or underserviced areas. Results to date are showing improved accessibility, positive impacts on health outcomes, increased patient satisfaction, and a career pathway for nurses and midwives to work at the top of their scope of practice.

Nurses and midwives are well placed to contribute effectively to what the future health care system will look like and, in most cases, lead the discussions. For this to be achieved we need to acknowledge the significant role  that nurses’ and midwives’ currently play and enable them to have a collective voice as to the future of the profession. It is time to thoroughly explore the challenges and enablers for futuristic nursing models at the organisational, local and national government levels to ensure that implemented nursing models are supported and, more importantly fiscally sustainable.

This presentation will discuss how innovative nurse led models  can best meet the complex patient health needs and to augment our future health care system.


Dr Kathleen Tori is an endorsed Nurse Practitioner (NP) and completed her PhD studies in the area of advanced practice nursing. Kathy’s clinical, academic and research interests include all facets of nursing models of health care delivery: transitional processes of the role, barriers and enablers which challenge successful implementation, economic impact and sustainability of emerging nurse-led health care, particularly in rural areas.