Updated May 2023
Download a PDF copy of this Fact sheet: Internationally qualified registered nurses applying for registration with a sole qualification in mental health nursing, paediatric nursing and disability nursing (242 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.
Information about the assessment model for internationally qualified nurses and midwives (IQNMs) is published on the NMBA website.
This following information is applicable for internationally qualified registered nurses (IQRNs) seeking registration with qualifications solely in mental health nursing, disability nursing or paediatric nursing.
Registered nurses (RNs) who have a sole qualification in mental health, disability or paediatric nursing do not have a qualification that is substantially equivalent to the foundation of an NMBA-approved qualification leading to registration as a registered nurse.
Depending on their area of practice, RNs with one of these qualifications are registered with a notation stating that they are:
The notation is used by National Boards to describe and explain the scope of a practitioner’s practice by noting the limitations on that practice.
The NMBA expects that nurses and midwives recognise and work within their scope of practice which is determined by their foundational education, training, authorisation, competence, qualifications and experience, in accordance with local policy1.To expand your scope of practice beyond the area of practice in which you hold the notation, you will first need to complete an NMBA-approved program of study leading to general registration as a registered nurse and apply to the NMBA to have the notation removed.
1Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia - Code of conduct for nurses 1 March 2018 - 2.2(e)
Yes, enrolled nurses (ENs) who have not completed EN medicines administration education have a notation on their registration stating ‘Does not hold a Board-approved qualification in administration of medicines’. Most ENs complete administration of medicines education as part of their pre-registration program.
No, a notation is not an indication of any concern about your performance or ability as an RN. Notations are used to provide relevant information to employers and the public on an individual’s registration status, in these circumstances the area in which they are qualified.
The NMBA assesses all IQRNs against the three qualification criteria for registered nurses. In order to be eligible for registration, applicants must meet all three criteria, as well as all registration standards listed on the application form, such as recency of practice and English language skills. Criterion 3 requires that your qualification must be assessed as being equivalent to an Australian Bachelor degree (AQF level 7).
IQRNs with qualifications solely in mental health nursing, disability nursing or paediatric nursing at AQF level 6 will be registered with conditions for 12 months’ full-time equivalent supervised practice. Information on the NMBA’s requirements for supervised practice can be found on the NMBA’s website Supervised practice page.. The NMBA has decided that this is an appropriate pathway to assess the applicant’s eligibility for registration.
On successful completion of the supervised practice, the condition will be removed but the notation remains.