May 2018

Contents


Message from the Chair

Thank you to all of you who have renewed your registration. If you have not yet done so, please make sure you do by the end of this month. Online renewal is the quickest and easiest way to renew.

In May we recognise and celebrate the contribution of nurses and midwives across the world, on the International Day of the Midwife and International Nurses Day. Thank you all for your dedication to the health and wellbeing of your communities.

This month we have released the new Midwife standards for practice, which will come into effect for all midwives across Australia on 1 October 2018. These standards have been through a rigorous development and consultation process and are applicable across all midwifery settings. I encourage all midwives to reflect on the new standards and how they apply to your practice.

It’s been a fantastic first year for Nurse & Midwife Support, the confidential health support program which is available to all nurses, midwives and students across Australia. I hope you have their number in your phone in case you or a colleague needs someone to talk to: 1800 667 877.

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

Associate Professor Lynette Cusack RN

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NMBA news

New Midwife standards for practice

New standards for practice will apply to all midwives in Australia from 1 October 2018.

The Midwife standards for practice are evidence-based and their development included a literature review and observations and validation of midwives’ practice across a wide range of midwifery settings, such as clinical, community and management.

All midwives will need to get to know the new standards before they come into effect.

Getting to know the new standards and reflecting on how they apply to your practice can count towards your CPD hours.

View the Midwife standards for practice on the NMBA website.

International days of recognition for the professions

This month the professions of nursing and midwifery are recognised and celebrated across the world. The NMBA would like to thank Australia’s nurses and midwives for their service to the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.

International Day of the Midwife

On May 5 each year, we recognise that midwives provide vital woman-centred services across the world. This year’s theme is ‘midwives leading the way with quality care.’

‘It is exciting that Health Ministers have agreed to amend the National Law to recognise midwifery as a separate profession in Australia, supporting this year’s theme of midwives leading the way with quality care,’ Associate Professor Cusack said.

‘The NMBA is pleased to release the new Midwife standards for practice in time for the International Day of the Midwife. On behalf of the NMBA, thank you all for providing quality care.’

International Nurses Day

On International Nurses Day on 12 May, with the theme of ‘a voice to lead – health is a human right,’ we reflect that healthcare should be safe and accessible to all.

‘This is an important goal in the context that even in a country like Australia, we have an unacceptable health gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples,’ Associate Professor Cusack said.

‘Nurses are on the front line of healthcare and make a huge difference to people’s lives by providing care that recognises people’s specific needs, and works in partnership with their families and communities. Thank you all for making healthcare more accessible across Australia.’

Celebrating a year of health support

Nurses and midwives have been able to access free, confidential health support for the past year, thanks to Nurse & Midwife Support which launched in March 2017.

Nurses and midwives experiencing stress or other health issues have 24/7 access to advice and referral from people who understand the professions.

Nurse & Midwife Support is evaluating how it can improve in 2018 and provide an even better service to the professions. If you have accessed Nurse & Midwife Support and would like to give your feedback, please complete their survey.

To contact Nurse & Midwife Support for support, call 1800 667 877 or visit the website.

Updates from the March 2018 NMBA meeting

Each month the NMBA meets to make decisions on the regulation of nursing and midwifery in Australia. In March, the NMBA approved the new Midwife standards for practice. The NMBA also approved a draft paper on registered nurse prescribing for preliminary consultation with key stakeholders. To read more about this please see the joint communiqué on our website.

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

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Registration

Renew your registration

All nurses and midwives in Australia need to renew their registration by 31 May to continue practising and avoid a late fee.

When you renew your registration each year, you are asked to declare that you are meeting the standards of your profession. The registration process is vital for public safety and maintaining the trust the community places in nurses and midwives.

You can renew your registration online by logging into AHPRA’s secure online services portal. For more information on how to renew your registration please watch the short video on the NMBA website.

Renewal certificates

Using the online register of practitioners is the safest way to check if a nurse or midwife is registered and has any endorsements or conditions on their registration.

To encourage employers, the public and the professions to check up-to-date registration details online, from 2019 the NMBA will no longer issue paper renewal certificates.

This year, as in previous years, you will receive a paper renewal certificate sent to your nominated postal address. From next year’s renewal period (2019), paper certificates will no longer be mailed.

If required, you will be able to print a certificate from AHPRA’s online portal – the same place you go to renew your registration.  

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Nursing and midwifery regulation at work: notification case studies

Tribunal reprimands former nurse for professional misconduct

A tribunal has reprimanded a former nurse after she admitted to professional misconduct concerning a criminal conviction.

On 18 June 2016, the Western Australian police found Ms Helen Mary Godfrey, a nurse, in possession of a prohibited drug (MDMA) and $1559 in cash.

On 23 September 2016, Ms Godfrey was convicted of possession of a prohibited drug with intent to sell or supply following a guilty plea, and sentenced to a 12 month Community Based Order.

The NMBA referred Ms Godfrey to the State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia (the tribunal). During the proceedings Ms Godfrey surrendered her registration as a nurse.

Ms Godfrey admitted the facts and that she had engaged in professional misconduct, and the matter was resolved by consent. The tribunal reprimanded Ms Godfrey and she agreed to pay a contribution to the NMBA’s costs, fixed at $1200.

For more information please see the tribunal decision.

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National Scheme news

Victorian nurse practitioners to prepare for SafeScript implementation

Nurse practitioners in Victoria need to make sure their registration details with AHPRA, especially their principal place of practice and email address, are up to date before implementation of Victoria’s real-time prescription monitoring system, SafeScript, starts later this year.

SafeScript is computer software that will provide medical practitioners, nurse practitioners and pharmacists with access to their patients’ prescription records for high-risk medicines during consultations to support safer clinical decisions. Prescription records for medicines that are causing the greatest harm to the community will be captured in SafeScript. These are all Schedule 8 medicines, Schedule 4 benzodiazepines, zolpidem, zopiclone and quetiapine. Only nurse practitioners who are registered to prescribe medicines monitored through SafeScript will be able to use the system.

Victorian clinicians will have 18 months to familiarise themselves with the system before it becomes mandatory for them to check SafeScript when writing or dispensing a prescription for a medicine monitored through the system.

Roll-out of the system will initially be focused in the Western Victoria Primary Health Network catchment area before being extended to the rest of Victoria in early 2019.

Online registration for access to SafeScript will open later in the year. The Department of Health and Human Services is working with AHPRA to make online registration for access to SafeScript automated and easy for Victorian clinicians.

More information on how to prepare for implementation of SafeScript is available on the SafeScript web page.

Draft guideline for informing the NMBA where you practise

The NMBA wants your feedback on a draft guideline for informing a National Board about where you practise.

Recent amendments to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law) include changes to the information a registered health practitioner is required to provide about their practice arrangements when requested by the National Board (referred to as ‘practice information’). The draft guideline has been developed to assist registered health practitioners to provide practice information in a way that meets their obligation under the National Law.

The consultation paper is available under current consultations, and the NMBA invites feedback from nurses and midwives, stakeholders and the community.

Please provide any written submissions by email, marked, ‘Draft guidelines: Informing a National Board about where you practise’ to nationallawamendments@ahpra.gov.au.

Consultation closes on 25 May 2018.

Submissions to this consultation may be published on the AHPRA website. More information is available on the NMBA website.

Consultation on review of accreditation arrangements

We are seeking feedback on future accreditation arrangements. The National Boards and AHPRA are consulting on the arrangements from mid-2019, when the current term of assignment of accreditation functions ends.

The National Law sets out the accreditation functions in the National Scheme. These include:

  • developing accreditation standards 
  • accrediting programs of study against approved accreditation standards, and 
  • assessing overseas qualified practitioners.

Each National Board decides whether the accreditation functions for the profession it regulates are carried out by an external accreditation body or a committee established by the Board. If the National Board decides on an external organisation, AHPRA enters a contract with them which specifies the scope of accreditation functions and sets out associated reporting requirements and funding arrangements. If the National Board decides on a committee, these matters are specified in terms of reference.

All National Boards and AHPRA are consulting on their accreditation arrangements. Feedback will be taken into account in making decisions about the assignment of accreditation functions from mid-2019. Feedback will also be considered in the next phase of the review, which will involve establishing new agreements with external accreditation authorities and terms of reference for accreditation committees.

The consultation paper is available on the NMBA’s consultation page. You can provide feedback by:

The consultation closes at 12pm, 14 May 2018.

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 1/05/2018