Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia - Fact sheet: Registration as a nurse and a midwife - dual registration
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Fact sheet: Registration as a nurse and a midwife - dual registration

Download a PDF copy of this Fact sheet: Registration as a nurse and a midwife - dual registration (120 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.

This fact sheet is for nurses and midwives who hold dual registration that is; registration on both the national register for nurses and national register for midwives. This fact sheet sets out the regulatory requirements for nurses and midwives who hold dual registration.

The NMBA recognises that nursing and midwifery are two separate professions. As regulated health practitioners, nurses and midwives who hold dual registration are expected to meet the relevant professional standards for practice together with the NMBA registration standards, codes and guidelines for both the profession of nursing and the profession of midwifery. This means nurses and midwives with dual registration are required to have recent practice in, and connection to, both the nursing profession and the midwifery profession and must ensure they are safe, competent, confident and current, in each profession’s specific skills and knowledge, relevant to their context of practice.

If you are registered as both a nurse and midwife, you must meet the requirements of the NMBA’s mandatory registration standards in both professions. This means you must complete, and be able to demonstrate, that you have met the recency of practice, continuing professional development requirements and have professional indemnity insurance relevant to your practice in both nursing and midwifery.

To work/be employed in a midwife, registered nurse or enrolled nurse position you must hold the relevant registration with the NMBA. For further information refer to the NMBA Fact sheet: The use of health practitioner protected titles.

Using the standards for practice

The NMBA standards for practice provide nurses and midwives with a framework for assessing practice. To assist you to determine if you have recent practice as both a nurse and a midwife you can use the standards for practice to evaluate your own practice.

The evidence that you keep or present to demonstrate you meet the registration standards as a nurse and as a midwife is assessed on an individual basis. Nurses and midwives are required to practise within the relevant standards for practice. For nurses, these are the Registered nurse standards for practice, the Nurse practitioner standards for practice and the Enrolled nurse standards for practice. For midwives these are the Midwife standards for practice. The NMBA recognises that there may be certain elements of practice common to both nursing and midwifery professions.

Recency of practice

To demonstrate recency of practice you need to have evidence that shows you have maintained an adequate connection with, and recent practice in each profession that is up-to-date within the context/scope, knowledge and skills in each profession. Connection to the profession can be measured by a range of experience and activities that include:

  • extent of practice
  • extent of education
  • evidence of ongoing education
  • ability to meet relevant standards for practice
  • evidence of contemporary knowledge relating to practice of the profession

You need to declare annually when you renew your registration, and if audited provide evidence, that you have completed the equivalent hours in both nursing and midwifery within the past five years. This means that you need to be able to demonstrate that you have practised for the equivalent of 450 hours in nursing and the equivalent of 450 hours in midwifery, over the past five years.

Any common elements of practice should be determined within your own context of practice using the respective standards for practice. These standards clearly indicate the standard of practice expected and provide the framework for assessing your practice. You should use these standards to consider if you meet the requirements for the NMBA Recency of practice registration standard as both a nurse and a midwife when renewing your registration each year.

Continuing professional development

The CPD activities you undertake should be relevant to your context of practice, maintain your competence and build on your knowledge and expertise as both a nurse and midwife. To demonstrate compliance with the NMBA Continuing professional development registration standard (CPD) you will need to complete a minimum of 20 hours of CPD related to your midwifery practice and 20 hours of CPD related to your nursing practice. There may be some CPD hours that can count towards both contexts of practice, but the NMBA would also expect to see separate activities specific to nursing and specific to midwifery. For more information please refer to the NMBA guidelines and fact sheet for continuing professional development.

Professional indemnity insurance

Under the National Law, nurses and midwives must not practise the profession in which they are registered unless they hold appropriate professional indemnity insurance (PII) arrangements in relation to their practice. If you are registered as both a nurse and midwife, you must have professional indemnity insurance relevant to all aspects of your practice in both nursing and midwifery to demonstrate compliance with the NMBA Professional indemnity insurance arrangements registration standard.


Context of practice: Context refers to the environment in which nursing or midwifery is practised, and which in turn influences that practice. It includes:

  • the characteristics of the consumer and the complexity of care required by them 
  • the model of care, type of service or health facility and physical setting 
  • the amount of clinical support and/or supervision that is available 
  • the resources that are available, including the staff skill mix and level of access to other health care professionals
Page reviewed 25/01/2024