Download a PDF copy of the Recency of practice Fact sheet (91.8 KB,PDF)
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) undertakes 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 NMBA’s Registration standard: Recency of practice requires nurses and midwives to have recent experience practising their profession and make sure their profession skills are current and up to date. For an individual who is both a nurse and midwife, this applies to their skills and experience in both professions.
The following questions address common queries that you might have about the Registration standard: Recency of practice.
Recency of practice means that a nurse or midwife has maintained an adequate connection with, and recent practice in the profession/s since qualifying for, or obtaining registration.
Practice means any role, whether remunerated or not, in which the individual uses their skills and knowledge as a health practitioner in their profession. Practice in this context is not restricted to the provision of direct clinical care. It also includes using professional knowledge (working) in a direct non-clinical relationship with clients, working in management, administration, education, research, advisory, regulatory or policy development roles, and any other roles that impact on the safe, effective delivery of services in the profession.
The NMBA recognises practice hours if the evidence you provide demonstrates that you have practised nursing and/or midwifery, and that you:
- hold or have held current and valid registration with a recognised nursing or midwifery regulatory authority (either in Australia or overseas), or
- your role involves the application of nursing and/or midwifery knowledge and skills, or
- have carried out postgraduate education leading to an award or qualification that is relevant to the practice of nursing and/or midwifery.
You need to provide evidence that you have practised for a period equivalent to a minimum of 450 hours, within the past five years.
The types of evidence you can provide include:
- a service statement from your employer
- pay slips
- income statement for the year, and
- other documents showing the hours and dates that you worked.
The types of evidence that are accepted are at the discretion of the NMBA.
No. The hours do not need to be continuous and can be accumulated over the past five years. As long as they are equivalent to a minimum of 450 hours, and the type of evidence you provide is accepted by the NMBA, it is sufficient evidence.
Yes. You need to declare annually and if audited provide evidence showing that you have completed the equivalent hours in both nursing and midwifery within the past five years.
This means that you need to be able to demonstrate that you have practised for the equivalent of 450 hours in nursing and the equivalent of 450 hours in midwifery, over the past five years.
However, if you consider an aspect of your work could provide evidence for both nursing and midwifery practice, you may make a case for that. An example of this could be caring for women who have had a caesarean section, and their babies.
Yes. You need to maintain recency of practice relevant to the endorsement that you hold and declare annually that you have practised for the equivalent of 450 hours relevant to your endorsement over the past five years.
If you are audited you will need to be able to demonstrate recency of practice relevant to the endorsement that you hold. For example, a midwife with an endorsement for scheduled medicines will need to be able to show recent practice relevant to prescribing and administration of medicines and a nurse practitioner would be required to show recency of practice at the nurse practitioner (advanced practice nursing) level.
Yes. You need to provide the same level of evidence needed for practice completed in Australia.
For information on the evidence you need to provide to demonstrate that you have practised nursing and/or midwifery, see section above ‘What are practice hours?'.
If you have not worked sufficient hours over the past five years, you need to contact the AHPRA office in your state or territory, to get advice about your individual circumstances.
You may be asked to successfully complete:
- supervised practice as approved by the NMBA, or
- a re-entry to practice program approved by the NMBA
You will need to declare at the time of registration renewal that you do not meet recency of practice. Your renewal will go into assessment and you may be requested to provide further information.
For further information, refer to the NMBA’s Fact sheet: Re-entry to practice.
Yes. You should make sure to keep evidence of your practice for at least five years, in case you are selected for audit by the NMBA.
No. When you renew your registration you are making a declaration to say that you have met the requirements. Evidence will only be requested if you are selected for audit. Remember to keep your evidence for at least five years in case you are selected for audit by the NMBA.
If you do not meet the recency of practice registration standard, you will need to contact your local AHPRA office, in your state and territory, to get further advice.