Private practice as a career option for nurses has been slowly increasing since the 1980’s

The reasons for this development have not been fully investigated so that it can be understood and placed within the changing contexts of health care and health services. The expansion and extension of nurses’ roles is a contemporary topic in health care reform and therefore one that deserves investigation. The aims of this study were to develop a theory on private practice nursing and to describe the characteristics and work of the self- employed nurse in Australia. Nurses working in a variety of settings have been able to provide information on being self-employed. In doing so, this study was able to describe the persona of the nurse entrepreneur, explore the reasons why nurses and midwives in Australia establish private fee-for-service practices, identify the factors which have influenced this action and describe the scope of practice of nurses and midwives in private practice.

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