Unemployable to General Practice co-owner – Kerrie Duggan and the Cygnet Family Practice Journey so far

Mrs Kerrie Duggan1

1Cygnet Family Practice, Cygnet, Australia


The purpose of this abstract is to share the story of a Registered Nurse who used a series of professional challenges to begin a journey of being unemployable as a Nurse Practitioner, to co-owing a general practice over the past seven years.

Historically and currently, Registered Nurses are seen as employees and not employers or business owners. Our Federal Medicare system doesn’t support nursing services and limits opportunities for  cost effective nursing models of care. Promoting the role, expertise and experience of the largest healthcare profession in Australia is vital for providing healthcare now and in the future.

This narrative should inspire every nurse who wants to take the next step to practice at their full nursing potential and choose a workplace where they feel respected and valued. Daring to ‘ask the question” or ‘take the next step’ will change your life. After ‘blazing the trail’, Kerrie is keen to make it easier for other Registered Nurses to develop their practice and businesses.

Cygnet Family Practice started in 2014 with 90 patients and 5 team members and has grown to over 2500 patients with over 20 team members. The success of the practice is due to the innovative nursing model using kindness and a holistic approach to person-centred care. By taking opportunities and developing an innovative model of care, Kerrie and the team at Cygnet Family Practice can now offer a secure primary health care service in their local community.


Kerrie Duggan is a Registered Nurse with post graduate qualifications in Intensive Care, Midwifery and General Practice. She is an authorised immuniser, holds a Bachelor of Education Degree and a Masters of Nursing Science (Nurse Practitioner). She is a past Australian College of Nurse Practitioners Tasmanian Chapter Chair and is passionate about nursing and increasing our confidence and influence in improving healthcare.