Australian health policy initiatives have increasingly supported the employment of nurses in general practice. An understanding of the impact of nursing care on patients in this setting is integral to assuring quality, safety and a patient-centred focus. The aim was to develop a survey to evaluate the satisfaction and enablement of patients who receive nursing care in Australian general practices. The survey was to be simple to administer and analyse, ensuring practicality for use by general practice nurses, doctors and managers. Two validated instruments formed the basis of the Patient Enablement and Satisfaction Survey (PESS). This survey was refined and validated for the Australian setting using focus groups and in-depth interviews with patients, and feedback from general practice nurses. Test-retest and alternate form methods were used to establish the survey’s reliability. Feedback resulted in 14 amendments to the original draft survey. Questions that demonstrated a strong positive correlation for the test-retest and alternate form measures were included in the final survey. The PESS is a useful, practical tool for the evaluation of nursing care in Australian general practice, its validity and reliability established through a patient-centred research approach, reflective of the needs of patients accessing nursing services in this setting.