Some of the challenges, frustrations and obstacles experienced by remote area nurses (RANs) are discussed. Daily practice is described as on the cutting edge of the law, primary health care and culture conflict. The situation is aggravated by levels of structural violence and shock which are not tolerated by other professionals in Australia. These levels of shock, conflict and violence need to be reduced so that remote Australian communities can have access to the type of health service they deserve. It is considered that this can be achieved only by a collaborative, concerted effort between the profession, employer, government and remote area communities.