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Logo of bmcnursBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Nursing
BMC Nurs. 2012; 11: 13.
Published online Aug 7, 2012. doi:  10.1186/1472-6955-11-13
PMCID: PMC3488547
A spatial analysis of the expanding roles of nurses in general practice
Christopher Pearce,corresponding author1 Sally Hall,2 Christine Phillips,2 Kathryn Dwan,3 Rachael Yates,4 and Bonnie Sibbald5
1Director of Research, Inner Eastern Melbourne Medicare Local and Adjunct Associate Professor, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
2Academic Unit of General Practice and Community Health, Australian National University Medical School, Canberra, ACT, Australia
3Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute, Australian National University, Acton, ACT, 2601, Australia
4Australian General Practice Network, Manuka, ACT, Australia
5National Centre for Primary Care Research Development Centre, Manchester University, Manchester, UK
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Christopher Pearce: chris.pearce/at/; Sally Hall: sally.hall/at/; Christine Phillips: christine.phillips/at/; Kathryn Dwan: kathryn.dwan/at/; Rachael Yates: ryates/at/; Bonnie Sibbald: Bonnie.Sibbald/at/
Received August 26, 2011; Accepted July 9, 2012.
Changes to the workforce and organisation of general practice are occurring rapidly in response to the Australian health care reform agenda, and the changing nature of the medical profession. In particular, the last five years has seen the rapid introduction and expansion of a nursing workforce in Australian general practices. This potentially creates pressures on current infrastructure in general practice.
This study used a mixed methods, ‘rapid appraisal’ approach involving observation, photographs, and interviews.
Nurses utilise space differently to GPs, and this is part of the diversity they bring to the general practice environment. At the same time their roles are partly shaped by the ways space is constructed in general practices.
The fluidity of nursing roles in general practice suggests that nurses require a versatile space in which to maximize their role and contribution to the general practice team.
Keywords: General practice, Private practice nursing, Physicians office, Spatial analysis, Skill mix
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