Updated December 2023
Download a copy of this Fact sheet:
Maternal, child and family health nurses and midwives in Australia. A regulatory perspective. (142 KB,PDF)
In 2023 in response to the emerging changes occurring in the health service delivery models for Maternal, Child and Family Health across Australia, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra), on behalf of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) commissioned a comprehensive exploration and review of the relevant literature and regulatory frameworks that govern and influence Maternal Child Family Health (MCFH) practitioners (registered nurses and midwives) and their practice in Australia.
The aim of the project, conducted by the University of Adelaide, was to identify if there were any risks to the health and safety of the public due to the dynamic changes occurring in MCFH practice that required additional health regulation by the NMBA to protect the public.
The report told us:
MCFH Postgraduate education
The NMBA will continue the provision of right touch health regulation for nurses and midwives who work in the MCFH area.
Opportunities were also identified from the research for the tertiary education providers of MCFH courses, professional association; the Maternal Child and Family Health Nurses Association (MCaFHNA) and employers.
The NMBA has in place approved registration standards, codes, guidelines, and standards for practice that together form a Professional Practice Framework (PPF). The PPF determines the requirements and expectations which guide the professional practice of nurses and midwives in Australia.
The NMBA recognises that nurses and midwives obtain and develop qualifications and expertise through the course of their careers. It is an expectation that nurses and midwives are educated and competent in their specific area of practice and hold the requisite skills required to meet the needs of their client group. The public has an expectation that nurses and midwives provide safe, person-centred, and evidence-based care in all areas of MCFH practice.
Nurses and midwives are responsible for making professional judgements about when an activity is within their scope of practice and, when it is not, for initiating consultation and collaboration with, or referral to, other members of the healthcare team. They are also responsible for ensuring their qualifications meet the employment requirements within a MCFH service as they may vary between jurisdictions.
The NMBA produce fact sheets on the scope of practice and capabilities for nurses and midwives to guide them in their practice. They also guide employers, private and public health services, and other health practitioners, on the varying roles and scope of practice of nurse and midwives. The fact sheets on scope of practice can be found on the NMBA's Professional Codes & Guidelines Fact Sheets page.