MS Nurses

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Specialist Nurses or MS Nurses are an integral part of the multidisciplinary healthcare team of specialist healthcare professionals providing support, education, advice, and care for people with MS and their family and carers.

On May 30 (World MS Day), MS Australia launched our new national communications and advocacy campaign to raise awareness of MS Nurses; their importance to MS care and demonstrate the need to bring greater attention to the MS Nurse workforce issue in Australia.

The campaign, MS Nurses – Life-Changing Care, focuses on the critical role MS Nurses play in improving the lives of many people living with and affected by MS. This builds on last year’s launch of our MS Nurse Care in Australia Report which revealed that one-third of Australians living with MS do not have access to MS nurse care.

To launch this important campaign and to mark World MS Day, MS Australia held a Parliamentary Friends of MS event at Parliament House, Canberra. These forums allow connection and interaction with engaged politicians and key decision-makers to raise awareness of the needs of people living with MS.

Watch our MS Nurses – Life-Changing Care campaign video below.

MS Australia media release: New campaign shines light on life-changing MS Nurse Care, can be found here.

MS Australia podcast, The Raw Nerve: Episode 12, MS Nurses – Life-Changing Care

You can stay informed about the campaign and future MS Australia advocacy activities by adding your name to the support form below.

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Watch the video of the Parliamentary Friends of MS World MS Day event.

MS Nurses

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Specialist Nurses or MS Nurses are an integral part of the multidisciplinary healthcare team of specialist healthcare professionals providing support, education, advice, and care for people with MS and their family and carers including: 

  • Information, education and advice at the point of diagnosis and ongoing 
  • Case management and clinical care 
  • Symptom assessment and management 
  • Relapse management 
  • Monitoring, safety and risk management of disease modifying therapies (DMTs) and medications 
  • The provision of psychosocial support 
  • Assisting with accessing relevant support services 
  • Empowering people through informed and shared decision-making about treatment, lifestyle, and research choices 

Access to MS Nurse care brings health benefits for people with MS. These include lower disability level, slower self-reported disease progression, less severe symptoms, lower levels of depression and anxiety, and a higher quality of life.  

MS Nurses Report

The MS Nurse Care in Australia Report by MS Australia, in collaboration with the Menzies Institute for Medical Research and MS Nurses Australasia (MSNA) explores the patterns of access to MS Nurses in Australia and the impact on health outcomes for people living with MS. 

The report found that the number of MS nurses is declining and one-third of Australians living with MS (equivalent to 8,000 people) do not have access to life-changing MS nurse care and have consistently worse health outcomes.  Access is even worse for those living in outer regional, remote, or very remote areas, with almost half having no access to MS Nurse care (48.8%).  

MS Nurses are a highly cost-effective model of care. MS Nurse care reduces the need for other, more costly health professionals, such as GPs and neurologists and prevents unnecessary emergency department presentations and potentially, unplanned hospital admissions. It is a highly cost-effective model of care. 

If every Australian with MS had access to MS Nurse care as part of their ongoing MS management plan this would result in substantial cost savings for MS healthcare in Australia. It would significantly delay disease progression and contribute to an increased quality of life. There are further savings from a reduced reliance on disability, aged care and community supports s. 

The report found that it would cost $5 million to employ an additional 50 MS Nurses for the 8,000 people with MS currently without access in Australia. Based on a conservative estimate of 10% costs savings, this could reduce the cost of their overall MS care by $64.3 million annually. 

The report made the following key recommendations: 

Raise awareness of the existence of MS Nurses, their value, and the supports and services they provide to people with MS and health practitioners

Assist the existing MS Nurse workforce through mentorship and preceptorship, connecting and educating existing MS Nurses and exploring opportunities within university nursing courses to include education about MS Nursing and MS Research Nursing 

Increase the number of MS Nurses in Australia by targeted advocacy and assessing the current funding arrangements 

Increase access to MS Nurses through expanding telehealth services and advocacy to the Australian Government 

MS Nurses Working Group

In September 2022, MS Australia established a MS Nurses working group to action the MS Nurse Care in Australia Report recommendations and identify solutions to enable all Australians living with MS to be aware of and have access to MS Nurse care as a part of their ongoing MS management. 

Sharlene Brown

Co-Chair | MSA Board Member and Advocacy Committee Chair

Belinda Bardsley

Co-Chair | Manager N-CRESS at Austin Health & Vice -President MSNA

Dr Therese Burke

Clinical Platform Coordinator, MS Australia & MSNA executive member

Bridie Phillips

MS Nurse Advisor & Registered Nurse

Emma Christian

Nursing Team Leader, MS Society SA & NT & Secretary MSNA

Vanishree Chetti

Clinical & Residential Services Manager, MSWA

Tim O'Maley

Nurse Practitioner, Queensland Health & MSNA member

Dr Fiona Mckay

Dr Fiona McKay

Research Coordinator, MS Australia

Dr Julie Campbell

Research Fellow, Menzies Institute for Medical Research

Andrew Potter

Andrew Potter

National Advocacy Coordinator, MS Australia

Jeremy Henderson

Jeremy Henderson

Head of Advocacy, MS Australia

MS Clinics in Australia

MS Clinics exist across Australia to provide expertise in the diagnosis and management of multiple sclerosis and many have a range of neurological services available. Some are called MS Clinics whilst others are neurology or neuroimmunology clinics. All clinics listed below will have specialist experience with MS. Some are large, tertiary referral, multidisciplinary, bulk-billing clinics, others are smaller, private or visiting specialist clinics. Most clinics require a referral from your GP. This list may help you to find the clinic nearest you, which you can then share with your GP to make a referral: List of MS Clinics in Australia


MS Nurses Australasia Inc (MSNA) is the peak body for MS Nurses in the Southern Hemisphere, providing education and support for MS nurses and other health care professionals in Australia and New Zealand. Further information including education and research resources can be found at the MS Nurses Australasia website 

Multiple Sclerosis Specialist Nurses in Australia 2017: a snapshot of the MS specialist nurse workforce in Australia, their clinical knowledge and practice, models of employment and funding, and their key responsibilities and training.   

Brain health in multiple sclerosis: A nursing resource: a resource to assist MS Nurses working in various settings to understand the impact and importance of brain health at all stages of the MS disease trajectory. 

International research on MS Nurses  

Business Case

Consistent with our support for increased specialist nurse positions, MS Australia has partnered with a range of key stakeholders including neurologists, MS Nurses Australia (MSNA) and MS Health Professionals Network (MSHPN), to create a business case framework to inform proposals or funding requests to secure additional hours, or new or additional MS specialist nurse positions within individual organisations.  Please find below an MS Nurse generic business case template and accompanying attachments to amend for your individual use:


Personal perspectives from our Nurse Medallists

Personal perspectives from our Nurse Medallists: triumphs, challenges, and why we need more MS Nurses

21 June 2023

Outstanding Australian MS Nurses were recognised among MS Australia’s 50 Years President’s Medal recipients in 2022. Our MS Nurse medallists share what they love, what they’ve learnt, and the challenges of MS Nursing. They hope their career stories inspire a new generation of MS Nurses to help people live well with the complex challenges of MS.

Dr Burke’s Australia Day Honour puts multiple sclerosis in the spotlight

26 January 2023

MS Australia congratulates Dr Therese Burke who has been honoured for her significant service to medicine, particularly multiple sclerosis research, and to nursing, by being made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in today’s 2023 Australia Day Honours List.

Read More

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