Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia

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Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
 

Fact sheet: Endorsement for scheduled medicines for midwives

Download a PDF of Fact sheet: Endorsement for scheduled medicines for midwives - January 2017 (63.0 KB,PDF)

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) carries out functions as set by the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law). The NMBA regulates the practice of nursing and midwifery in Australia, and one of its key roles is to protect the public. The NMBA does this by developing registration standards, professional codes, guidelines and standards for practice which together establish the requirements for the professional and safe practice of nurses and midwives in Australia.

The revised Registration standard: Endorsement for scheduled medicines for midwives was published on the NMBA website on 1 February 2016 and comes into effect on 1 January 2017. The Eligible midwife registration standard will end on 31 December 2016.

The NMBA has developed the revised Registration standard: Endorsement for scheduled medicines for midwives after undertaking an extensive consultation and review of the current Registration standard for endorsement of scheduled medicines for midwives (2010) and Eligible midwife registration standard (2010).

The following questions answer common queries that you might have about transitioning from the Registration standard for endorsement for scheduled medicines for midwives (2010), and Eligible midwife registration standard (2010) to the revised Registration standard: Endorsement for scheduled medicines for midwives.

This fact sheet applies to midwives registered in Australia who are applying for, or renewing, an endorsement for scheduled medicines.

The NMBA has developed a revised Registration standard: Endorsement for scheduled medicines for midwives as there are now a number of midwifery medication courses approved by the NMBA. This removes the need for a two-step approach of notation then endorsement for midwives. The revised standard replaces the:

  • Registration standard for endorsement for scheduled medicines for midwives (2010), and
  • Eligible midwife registration standard (2010).

The key changes to the revised standard are:

  • the need for a two-step process of applying for notation, then endorsement, has been replaced by a one-step process of applying for endorsement only

  • the requirement for registration as a midwife that is the equivalent of three years’ full-time clinical practice (5,000 hours) in the past six years

  • experience across the ‘context of practice’ has been included

  • completion of a professional practice review program (PPRP) is now included in the Safety and quality guidelines for privately practising midwives. Midwives must comply with these guidelines for ongoing endorsement from 1 January 2017, and

  • the requirement for 20 additional hours per year of continuing professional development (CPD) has been reduced to 10 additional hours and is now included in the Registration standard: Continuing professional development.

Completion of the PPRP is a prerequisite in the current Registration standard for endorsement of scheduled medicines for midwives (2010) and Eligible midwife registration standard (2010).

From 1 January 2017 the PPRP will be a requirement of the Safety and quality guidelines for privately practicing midwives. If you are a privately practising midwife you will need to comply with these guidelines to maintain ongoing endorsement.

The NMBA has broadened the ‘context of practice’ to recognise that not all privately practising midwives (PPMs) provide intrapartum care in the home, for example, there are PPMs who provide care in discrete areas such as postnatal care (e.g. specialist lactation services) and/or antenatal care.

When applying for an endorsement for scheduled medicines, if you are not applying across the continuum of care, you will be required to nominate a context of practice.

The NMBA has approved the following contexts of practice for the endorsement:

  • antenatal,
  • postnatal, and
  • ante and postnatal.

When applying for an endorsement for scheduled medicines in a context of practice, the three years’ full-time clinical practice (5,000 hours) in the past six years, can be drawn from both practice specifically in the context of practice and from roles where the midwife was working in that and other contexts of practice. For example a midwife applying in the postnatal context of practice could use a percentage of the hours worked in a maternity unit caring for both ante and postnatal women.

The context of practice will not be recorded on the endorsement of the midwife on the national register.

If you want to change or add to your endorsement in a context of practice you must do so in accordance with the NMBA’s National framework for the development of decision-making tools for nursing and midwifery practice. You should also make sure that your professional indemnity insurance arrangements cover the changes to your context of practice and that you inform your insurer about the change to your context of practice.

The term ‘eligible midwife’ relates to health practitioner access to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and as such is not an NMBA term.

Once you have an endorsement for scheduled medicines you will be able to apply to Medicare Australia for a Medicare provider number and/or a PBS provider number. Once you meet the Medicare Australia requirements you will be able to provide Medicare rebateable services and become an authorised PBS prescriber.

The revised Registration standard: Endorsement for scheduled medicines for midwives identifies midwives who are qualified to administer, obtain, possess, prescribe, sell, supply or use a scheduled medicine or class of scheduled medicines. To be endorsed a midwife must have completed an NMBA-approved program of study (or one that is substantially equivalent to an NMBA-approved program of study). An NMBA-approved program of study must meet the approved Accreditation Standards.

As notated midwives transition to an endorsement, the notation on their registration will change to that agreed under the revised Registration standard: Endorsement for scheduled medicines for midwives:

An endorsed midwife qualified to prescribe schedule 2, 3, 4 and 8 medicines and to provide associated services required for midwifery practice in accordance with relevant state and territory legislation.

For a midwife to provide and order diagnostic investigations, as with any context of midwifery practice, the midwife must ensure they are appropriately educated and competent.

The NMBA has chosen this date to:

  • give midwives, employers and the public time to understand the requirements set by the NMBA, and
  • allow adequate time for the NMBA, governments, midwives including PPMs to transition to the requirements in the revised standard.

If you are a midwife who is endorsed and notated there is no immediate change. The NMBA will be working closely with governments to ensure that there are no impacts on how you practice as a result of the change in use of the term ‘eligible midwife’ and compliance with the Safety and quality guidelines for privately practising midwives from 1 January 2017.

If you are a midwife who is notated but not endorsed, the NMBA will be writing to you to advise you on what you need to do related to your undertaking to complete an approved program within 18 months of becoming notated.

If you are notated and apply for endorsement after 1 January 2017, you will need to meet the requirements of the revised Registration standard: Endorsement for scheduled medicines for midwives, this includes the following:

  • the equivalent of three years’ full-time clinical practice (5,000 hours) in the past six years
  • experience can be either ‘across the continuum of care’ or in a ‘context of practice’.

You will be able to apply for notation up until 31 December 2016. If you submit a complete application by that date the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) will process your application. You will have 18 months from the date of your notation to complete an approved program of study and apply for an endorsement for scheduled medicines. From 1 January 2017 only applications that meet the revised Registration standard: Endorsement for scheduled medicines for midwives will be accepted. The Eligible midwife registration standard will end on 31 December 2016.

You need to familiarise yourself with the revised standard before 1 January 2017.

During the transition period (1 February to 31 December 2016), we encourage you to begin reflecting on your practice using the revised standard and to complete any learning activities that will help you address any identified areas of learning.

If you applied before 1 January 2017, assessment of your application will not be affected by the revised standard.

If you are currently enrolled in an NMBA-approved program of study leading to endorsement as a midwife, and are due to complete the course after 1 January 2017, you are still eligible to apply for endorsement

A transition period for the revised standard and guidelines will be in place from 1 February to 31 December 2016:

  • Those midwives who apply for notation during the transition period will have 18 months to complete an NMBA-approved program of study.
  • From 1 January 2017 applications for notation as an ‘eligible midwife’ will no longer be accepted. Midwives will need to have completed an NMBA-approved program of study to apply for endorsement.
  • If you were granted a notation as an ‘eligible midwife’ prior to 31 December 2016 you have 18 months, from the date of your notation, to complete an NMBA-approved program of study and apply for endorsement.

The revised Registration standard: Endorsement for scheduled medicines for midwives takes effect from 1 January 2017 and is be available on the NMBA website. The Eligible midwife registration standard will end on 31 December 2016.

 
 
 
 
Page reviewed 21/07/2017