Understanding primary healthcare

Jane L. Phillips, Louise D. Hickman, Priyanka Bhattarai

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter provides a comprehensive overview of the philosophical underpinnings of primary healthcare, as foundation to understand primary healthcare nursing within the context of the Australian healthcare system. This chapter assists new nursing graduates to contextualise the role of the primary healthcare nurse within the broader healthcare system and reaffirms the importance of nurses working to address social determinants of health. It defines the key terms related to the organisational environment of primary healthcare nursing and presents the key global policy initiatives that are shaping primary healthcare nursing. A case study illustrates the important difference between selective and comprehensive primary healthcare and the opportunities for primary healthcare nurses to work to the full scopes of practice. The many and varied roles and responsibilities of the primary healthcare nurse within the Australian healthcare system are described.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransitions in Nursing
Subtitle of host publicationPreparing for Professional Practice
EditorsEsther Chang, John Daly
Place of PublicationNSW, Australia
ISBN (Electronic)9780729587310
ISBN (Print)9780729543040
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • healthcare
  • nursing graduates
  • primary healthcare
  • nursing


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