Professional standards

Nurses and midwives must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA), and meet the NMBA's professional standards in order to practise in Australia.

Professional standards define the practice and behaviour of nurses and midwives and include:

  • codes of conduct, 
  • standards for practice, and
  • codes of ethics.

Codes of conduct

Please note that from 1 March 2018, professional boundaries expectations are included in the codes of conduct and are no longer separate documents.

Document PDF Accessible format Date of effect
Code of conduct for midwives Word (185KB) From 1 March 2018 
Code of conduct for nurses Word (196KB) From 1 March 2018 
Fact sheet: code of conduct for nurses and code of conduct for midwives PDF (168KB) Word (143KB) From 1 March 2018
Case studies: applying the codes of conduct in practice PDF (119KB)  Word (92.7KB)  From 1 March 2018

Standards for practice

Document PDF Accessible format Date of effect
Registered nurse standards for practice - effective 1 June 2016 PDF 
(177KB)
Web page From 1 June 2016 
Fact sheet: Registered nurse standards for practice PDF 
(199KB)
Web page From 1 June 2016
Enrolled nurse standards for practice - effective 1 January 2016 PDF
(116KB)
Web page From 1 January 2016 
Fact sheet: Enrolled nurse standards for practice PDF
(59.4KB)
Web page  From 1 January 2016
Midwifery competency standards - January 2006 - rebranded*  PDF
(886KB) 
  From 1 July 2010 
Nurse practitioner standards for practice - effective 1 January 2014 PDF 
(193KB)
Web page From 1 January 2014

*Rebranded: This document has undergone rebranding to reflect ownership by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. Except to update the design and names of relevant organisation, the content or intent of the original document has not changed, unless indicated otherwise.

Codes of ethics

From 1 March 2018, the International Council of Nurses Code of ethics for nurses is in effect for all nurses in Australia and the International Confederation of Midwives Code of ethics for midwives is in effect for all midwives in Australia. These documents replace the NMBA Code of ethics for nurses - August 2008 and the NMBA Code of ethics for midwives - August 2008. For more information please see the news item.

Retired versions

Document PDF Date of effect
Retired version: Professional boundaries for midwives - March 2010 - rebranded* PDF (1.00MB) From 13 June 2013 to 28 February 2018
Retired version: Professional boundaries for nurses - February 2010 - rebranded* PDF (1.30MB) From 13 June 2013 to 28 February 2018
Retired version: Code of professional conduct for midwives - August 2008 - rebranded* PDF (575KB) From 13 June 2013 to 28 February 2018
Retired version: Code of professional conduct for nurses - August 2008 - rebranded* PDF (510KB) From 7 May 2013 28 February 2018
Retired version: Code of ethics for midwives - August 2008 - rebranded* PDF (661KB) From 13 June 2013 28 February 2018
Retired version: Code of ethics for nurses - August 2008 - rebranded* PDF (453KB) From 8 May 2013 28 February 2018
Retired version: Registered nurse competency standards - January 2006 - rebranded* PDF
(506KB)
From 1 July 2010 to 31 May 2016
Retired version: Enrolled nurse competency standards - October 2002 PDF
(472KB)
From 1 July 2010 to 31 December 2015
 
 
Page reviewed 28/02/2018