March 2018

Contents


Message from the Chair

Last month, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull tabled the 2018 Closing the Gap report. The Closing the Gap Campaign also released its 10-year review of the strategy.

It is clear that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples still experience poorer health outcomes than non-Indigenous Australians.

The new codes of conduct for nurses and midwives, which took effect today, provide common-sense guidance on how to work in a partnership with individuals and communities to ensure they are getting care that meets their needs.

One section of the new codes sets specific guidance around working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. As the Closing the Gap report and campaign show, together as a country we have a lot of work to do to ensure that all Australians have access to healthcare that meets their needs.

When nurses and midwives challenge beliefs based on bias or assumption, and work in partnership with people and communities, they contribute to better healthcare experiences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This is called ‘cultural safety.’ It is not a new concept. Many nurses and midwives are already practising in a culturally safe and respectful way, even if they have not heard the term ‘cultural safety.’

I encourage you to take the time to get to know the new codes and how the principles apply to your daily practice.

Nurses and midwives make up more than half of our country’s regulated health workforce. We are leaders in health and can make a real difference.

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

Associate Professor Lynette Cusack RN

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NMBA news

New codes of conduct in effect

On 1 March 2018, new NMBA codes of conduct took effect for all nurses and midwives in Australia, in all contexts of practice and practice settings.

The codes of conduct help to protect the public by ensuring the behaviour of nurses and midwives meets the trust the public places in the professions.

The NMBA has published a number of resources to help you get to know your new codes:

Remember that viewing and reflecting on the new codes and these resources can count towards your CPD hours!

New codes of ethics in effect

International codes of ethics are now in effect for Australian nurses and midwives.

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) Code of ethics for nurses and the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Code of ethics for midwives took effect as the guiding documents for ethical decision-making for nurses and midwives in Australia on 1 March 2018.

For more information about the reasons for the change, please read the news item.

Last chance to have your say on decision-making in practice

The NMBA would like to hear from you about the kind of resources you use to make decisions in practice, such as decisions about scope of practice, delegation and supervision.

This will help the NMBA to develop resources for nurses and midwives in practice.

The survey is anonymous and only takes about five minutes to complete.

Take the survey and have your say today.

Updates from the January and February 2018 NMBA meetings

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

To see the January and February 2018 decisions on approved programs of study leading to registration and endorsement, please view the communiqué:

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Registration

Renewal: reminder to update contact details 

Renewal time is coming! The NMBA will launch its 2018 registration renewal campaign in April and is asking nurses and midwives to update their contact details.

More than 380,000 nurses and midwives across Australia are due to renew their general or non-practising registration with the NMBA by 31 May.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) manages registration renewal on behalf of the NMBA. Make sure AHPRA has your current email contact details so you don’t miss reminders to renew your registration as well as other important information.

To update your contact details

Use the secure online services for health practitioners on the AHPRA website:

  • go to Login at the top right of the home page 
  • enter your user ID, password and date of birth to log in, and
  • follow the prompts to update your contact details.

If you do not have your user ID, complete an online web enquiry form and select the category Online Services – Practitioner. AHPRA will contact you.

If you’ve forgotten your password it can be updated using the ‘reset your password’ function. You must have previously had an email address registered with us to be able to use this function.

Look out for the AHPRA reminders to renew in April as confirmation that online renewal is open.

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Nursing and midwifery regulation at work: notification case studies

Tribunal disqualifies former nurse for false criminal history declarations

A tribunal has disqualified a former nurse from applying for re-registration, after she made false declarations about her criminal history.

Please see the news item for more information.

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National Scheme news

Self-assessment tool launched to help health practitioners and advertisers

AHPRA and National Boards have launched a self-assessment tool to help health practitioners, including nurses and midwives, and other advertisers check and correct their advertising.

All nurses and midwives need to make sure they meet their professional and legal obligations when advertising nursing and midwifery services. The tool was developed in consultation with National Boards and with feedback from AHPRA’s Professions Reference Group.

The tool is easy to use and asks users to consider a number of questions about their advertising which can help them understand if it is in breach of the Guidelines for advertising regulated health services, and in turn the National Law.

The self-assessment tool is the latest of a series of advertising resources for practitioners, healthcare providers and other advertisers of regulated health services to use to help them stay in line with the law.
This work is part of a broader strategy ‒ the Advertising compliance and enforcement strategy for the National Scheme ‒ which started last year. The strategy has met a number of its targets since its launch including clear, concise and helpful correspondence for when AHPRA receives a complaint about advertising and new resources such as:

The self-assessment tool is now available to use on the check, correct and comply section of the AHPRA website.

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: Associate Professor Lynette Cusack RN, Chair, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne, VIC 3001.

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Page reviewed 1/03/2018