• competency standards;
  • general practice nurses;
  • leadership;
  • management;
  • postgraduate education

A key finding of this qualitative exploratory descriptive study into advanced nursing for general practice nurses (Australian setting) revealed that participants viewed leadership and management as best learnt ‘apprenticeship’ style on the job by years of experience. Participants (48) comprised of general practice nurses, practice managers and general practitioners from metropolitan Melbourne were interviewed. Other findings demonstrated that the participants generally had limited awareness that postgraduate education can assist in the development of leadership and management in advanced nursing practice. The participants lacked clarity about professional competencies and generally did not connect these to leadership and management. Professional bodies need to take the opportunity to promote awareness of the national competency standards. All three groups of participants expressed hopes about the future provision of professional development opportunities and support by the Medicare Local for leadership and management aspirations within advanced practice nursing.