Nursing care of children in general practice settings: roles and responsibilities

Walsh, Anne M., Barnes, Margaret, & Mitchell, Amy E. (2015) Nursing care of children in general practice settings: roles and responsibilities. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 71(11), pp. 2585-2594.

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  • To examine roles and responsibilities of Practice Nurses in the area of child health and development and in advising parents about child health issues.


  • As the focus of Australia’s health care system shifts further towards the primary health care sector, governmental initiatives require that Practice Nurses are knowledgeable, confident and competent in providing care in the area of child health and development. Little is known about roles and responsibilities of Practice Nurses in this area.


  • Cross-sectional survey design.


  • Practice Nurses completed a national online survey examining the roles and responsibilities in child health and development, professional development needs and role satisfaction. Data were collected from June 2010–April 2011.


  • Respondents (N = 159) reported having a significant role in well and sick child care and were interested in extending their role. Frequent activities included immunization, phone triage/advice, child health/development advice, wound care and Healthy Kids Checks. However, few had paediatric/child nursing backgrounds or postgraduate qualifications in paediatric nursing and they reported limited preparation for the role. Practice Nurses reported difficulties with keeping up-to-date with child health information and advising parents confidently. Satisfaction was relatively low regarding opportunities and encouragement to undertake professional development and expand scope of practice.


  • Practice Nurses are largely unprepared to meet the demands of their child health role and need support to develop and maintain the skills and knowledge base necessary for high-quality, evidence-based practice. Both financial and time support is needed to enable Practice Nurses to access child health professional development.

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ID Code: 87271
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Child health, nurses, nurses' professional role, nursing, primary health care, professional development
DOI: 10.1111/jan.12735
ISSN: 1365-2648
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Copyright Statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Walsh A., Barnes M. & Mitchell A.E. (2015) Nursing care of children in general practice settings: roles and responsibilities. Journal of Advanced Nursing 00(0), 000–000, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Deposited On: 07 Sep 2015 01:50
Last Modified: 19 May 2016 23:33

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