February 2017

Contents


Message from the Chair

Welcome to the first Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) newsletter for 2017.

You’ll notice a new look to our newsletter – we’ll be in touch with you more often this year to keep you up to date with changes to nursing and midwifery standards and guidelines, as well as our projects and events. We'll also be providing an update from our monthly meeting in the newsletter, instead of a separate communiqué. As always, the NMBA would love to hear from you, so please do email us your feedback.

Consultation on the revised Code of conduct for nurses and Code of conduct for midwives is now open and we invite all of you to view the drafts and take the feedback survey on our website.

Privately practising midwives need to be aware of the Safety and quality guidelines for privately practising midwives, which are now in effect and will be audited this year.

Finally, the NMBA is delighted to announce the launch of Nurse & Midwife Support next month. This national support service for nurses and midwives will provide confidential advice and referral on health issues. The service is independent of the NMBA and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). It’s a great initiative which will provide support for nurses and midwives with health issues to ensure they can access the help that they need, so they can provide care to the public.

Associate Professor Lynette Cusack RN
Chair, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia

Associate Professor Lynette Cusack RN

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NMBA news

Have your say on the Code of conduct for your profession

Public consultation on the revised Code of conduct for nurses and Code of conduct for midwives (the Codes) is closing soon and the NMBA would love to hear from nurses and midwives who haven’t yet completed our survey.

The Codes are important documents for the professions, the healthcare system and the public. The Codes set out the legal requirements, professional behaviour and conduct expectations for all nurses and midwives in all practice settings in Australia.

This is your chance to review the draft Codes and have your say. The NMBA would like to thank all the nurses and midwives who have already taken the survey.

Visit the NMBA website to view the draft Codes and take the survey.

Nurse & Midwife Support: National health support service launching next month

Nurse & Midwife Support logo

The NMBA is very pleased to announce the launch of Nurse & Midwife Support in March 2017 – the independent health support service for nurses, midwives, students and employers.

This nationwide support service will offer 24/7 professional, confidential advice and referral about health issues for nurses and midwives, via telephone and website. The service is independent of the NMBA and AHPRA.

The NMBA will be in touch with more information when Nurse & Midwife Support launches.

Updates from the January 2017 NMBA meeting

Each month the NMBA meets to make decisions on the regulation of nursing and midwifery in Australia.

At their January meeting, board members agreed to continue to engage with nurses and midwives on major regulation changes and projects, at face-to-face forums across the country. We will keep nurses and midwives up to date about events in their region in 2017.

The NMBA will be advertising state and territory board member vacancies very soon and invites all interested nurses and midwives to apply – so keep an eye on our website for more information.

The NMBA undertook a regulatory planning session in January, to ensure that it continues to support safe nursing and midwifery practice and prepares itself for future challenges in nursing and midwifery regulation.

To see the January decisions on approved programs of study leading to registration and endorsement, please view the communiqué:

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Registration

Consultation open on enrolled nurse accreditation standards

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) is responsible for accrediting education providers and programs of study for the nursing and midwifery professions.

ANMAC is reviewing the accreditation standards used to assess and accredit Diploma of Nursing programs of study, which can lead to registration as an enrolled nurse.

The review has now opened its second stage of consultation. To view the consultation paper and have your say through an online survey, please visit the ANMAC website. The consultation closes 4pm (AEDT) Friday 24 February 2017.

New guidelines for privately practising midwives in effect

The Safety and quality guidelines for privately practising midwives (the guidelines) are now in effect for all privately practising midwives, including those with an endorsement for scheduled medicines. The NMBA and AHPRA will be auditing privately practising midwives this year so it’s important to understand your obligations.

The guidelines replace the current Safety and quality framework for privately practising midwives attending homebirths.

The key changes made in the guidelines are:

  • the requirement for a risk assessment based on the Australian College of Midwives National midwifery guidelines for consultation and referral
  • the presence at a homebirth of two registered health professionals, who are educated to provide maternal and newborn care, and skilled and current in maternity emergency management and maternal/neonatal resuscitation, one of whom is a midwife
  • completion of a professional practice review program, and
  • demonstration of annual competencies in adult basic life support, neonatal resuscitation and training.

To find out more please view the guidelines and supporting fact sheet, which cover all the changes.

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Nursing and midwifery regulation at work: Notification case studies

Tribunal disqualifies nurse for life for serious professional misconduct

A tribunal has disqualified a nurse from applying for registration for life after it found she engaged in serious professional misconduct.

The South Australian Health Practitioners Tribunal reprimanded Danielle Maree Jones in the strongest possible terms, cancelled her registration and disqualified her from applying for registration as a nurse on a permanent basis.

It was alleged that Ms Jones:

  • stole money from two patients
  • failed to comply with a directive regarding administration of medication and gave false answers to inquiries about this
  • forged the initials of another nurse in a drug chart and gave false answers to inquiries about this
  • provided falsified certificates of training to a nursing agency
  • breached conditions of her registration
  • made a false statement to an AHPRA investigator, and
  • made false statements in a written application for registration which was submitted to the NMBA.

Ms Jones did not participate in the tribunal process, despite being personally served with the notice of the hearing. The tribunal accepted the unchallenged affidavit evidence from the NMBA.

For more information please read the news item.

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National Scheme news

Local insights, National Scheme: State and territory summaries published

Individual annual report summaries for each state and territory, offering insights into how the National Scheme is operating in each jurisdiction, have now been published.

Based on the AHPRA and National Boards annual report for 2015/16, the summaries are available online on AHPRA’s website.

Information includes applications for registration by profession, outcomes of criminal history checks and segmentation of the registrant base by gender, profession and specialty.

Notifications information includes the number of complaints or concerns received by AHPRA by profession, types of complaint, matters involving immediate action, monitoring and compliance, panels and tribunals, and statutory offence complaints.

To download any or all of the state and territory reports, or to view the main 2015/16 annual report, visit our microsite.

In the coming months, AHPRA and the National Boards will also publish summaries that break down 2015/16 data by profession.

Keep in touch with the NMBA

  • Visit the NMBA website for registration standards, codes, guidelines and FAQ.
  • Lodge an online enquiry form.
  • For registration enquiries, call 1300 419 495 (from within Australia) or +61 3 9275 9009 (for overseas callers).
  • Address mail correspondence to: Dr Lynette Cusack RN, Chair, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne, VIC 3001.

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Page reviewed 18/09/2017