How nurses can improve access to regional reproductive care

Due to a lack of local services, there are significant barriers for women accessing abortion and contraception in rural and regional Australia. Nurse-led models of care, including increased task-sharing between nurses and doctors in general practice, is a key strategy to increase efficiency and access to these critical services, says Professor Danielle Mazza, Dr Jessica Botfield and Jessica Moulton from the SPHERE Centre of Research Excellence and the Department of General Practice in the School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine.

Writing in the Medical Journal of Australia’s Insight +, the researchers found national and international evidence demonstrating that nurse-led models of care, where nurses play a larger role in medical abortion and long-acting reversible contraceptive care service delivery, are safe and effective. They also found evidence that nurse-led models can improve collaboration between GPs and practice nurses, increase efficiency, may increase job satisfaction of practice nurses and have other direct benefits such as shorter waiting times for patients.

The researchers argue that this approach could help meet the targets outlined in the Australian Government’s National Women’s Health Strategy (2020–2030)

Read the full article in Insight+

Find out more about SPHERE Centre of Research Excellence, a National Health and Medical Research Council-funded initiative to drive better sexual and reproductive health outcomes for women through primary care.

About the researchers 

Professor Danielle Mazza holds the Chair of General Practice at Monash University and is a nationally and internationally recognised leader in women’s health, implementation research and knowledge translation in the general practice setting.

Read more from Professor Danielle Mazza on topics such as boosting uptake of long-acting reversible contraceptives, breaking down barriers to medical abortion and the importance of better primary care networks to improve care outcomes.

Dr Jessica Botfield is a Research Fellow with the SPHERE National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre of Research Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health for Women in Primary Care at Monash University, and a Senior Research Officer at Family Planning NSW.

Jessica Moulton is a PhD candidate with the Department of General Practice and SPHERE NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health for Women in Primary Care.

About Monash University

Monash University is Australia’s largest university with more than 80,000 students. In the 60 years since its foundation, it has developed a reputation for world-leading high-impact research, quality teaching, and inspiring innovation.

With four campuses in Australia and a presence in Malaysia, China, India, Indonesia and Italy, it is one of the most internationalised Australian universities.

As a leading international medical research university with the largest medical faculty in Australia and integration with leading Australian teaching hospitals, we consistently rank in the top 50 universities worldwide for clinical, pre-clinical and health sciences.

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