The National Law has clear restrictions on the use of protected titles. These are addressed in sections 113, 116, 117, 119 and 120 of the National Law. Only people who have met the requirements of the National Law can use a protected title.
The protected titles that apply to nurses and midwives are:
- Registered nurse
- Enrolled nurse
- Nurse practitioner
- Midwife practitioner
It is an offence for anyone either knowingly or recklessly to use any of the protected titles to make another person believe that you are registered under the National Law unless you are registered in the profession.
To use these protected titles in contravention of this legislation is called ‘holding out’.
A contravention of these provisions this may be an offence under the National Law and they may be prosecuted in a court for the offence of holding out. Their actions may also constitute behaviours for which health, conduct or performance actions may be taken.
Likewise, any nurse or midwife who is registered with conditions must not knowingly or recklessly claim, or hold him or herself out to be registered without the conditions or any conditions. Employers cannot knowingly or recklessly use any of the protected titles to make another person believe their employees are registered under the National Law unless the employee is actually registered in the profession.
These requirements apply whether the title is used with or without any other words and whether in English or any other language.
Penalties apply to any contravention of this section of the National Law.