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HealthInfo Aoraki-South Canterbury

Practice nurses

Practice nurses are registered nurses who work in your general practice or health centre. They work in your community to plan nursing care, deliver treatment and provide you and your whānau/family with health education.


All practice nurses need to be registered with the Nursing Council of New Zealand.

What practice nurses do

Practice nurses work within a healthcare team that includes GPs, physiotherapists, pharmacists, counsellors and midwives.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • assessing health conditions
  • treating injuries
  • giving immunisations to adults and children
  • providing health check-ups
  • giving travel advice
  • providing wound care
  • providing sexual health and contraception, including cervical smears
  • liaising with other health professionals on your behalf.

A practice nurse may often be your first port of call for seeking healthcare. They'll help you find your way through the health system and help you decide which health professional or service you need to access.

Cost of seeing a practice nurse

There is often a charge to see a practice nurse, but financial assistance may be available to help you cover these costs. If this information isn't publicly available in your general practice or health centre, ask at the reception for a list of practice nurse charges and details of any available financial assistance.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed June 2021.

Page reference: 296213

Review key: HIGPS-132164