Updated March 2023
Download a copy of this Fact sheet: Provisional registration: Information for health services and employers (241KB).
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 standards, codes and guidelines which together establish the requirements for the professional and safe practice of nurses and midwives in Australia.
This fact sheet addresses common queries that you might have about the requirements for health services and/or employers who support nurses and/or midwives with provisional registration for supervised practice. It should be read in combination with the Policy: Re-entry to practice for nurses and midwives.
Provisional registration is for practitioners who have not practised as a nurse or midwife for between five and 15 years, and
Provisional registration enables these practitioners to complete either a period of supervised practice or an NMBA approved re-entry to practice program. These requirements are set out in conditions applied to their registration.
The provisional registration period is for 12 months and starts when the NMBA approves the practitioner's application. Renewal occurs on the anniversary of the initial registration date, noting that provisional registration may not be renewed more than twice.
When the requirements of the period of supervised practice or re-entry to practice program conditions have been met, the practitioner is eligible to apply for general registration.
Before any supervised practice can take place, the nurse and/or midwife must:
Nurses and/or midwives with provisional registration for supervised practice must comply with the requirements and responsibilities specified in the Supervised practice framework. The framework provides a resource for persons supervising nurses and/or midwives and sets out the following:
Table 1 provides an overview of the stages of supervision and the documentation requirements. When the requirements of the restrictions have been met, the practitioner is eligible to apply for general registration.
Table 1: Timelines and reporting requirements
Submit to Ahpra
Within 14 days of commencing practice
Inform the NMBA within seven days
If your approved supervisor is no longer able to give supervision, you will need to submit the following form Request for change in circumstances for nurses and midwives undertaking supervised practice – ACCL-40 to Ahpra
Prior to commencing a re-entry to practice program, an acceptance letter from the approved re-entry to practice program provider must be submitted to Ahpra.
A nurse and/or midwife holding provisional registration must:
Recency of practice: a health practitioner has maintained an adequate connection with, and recent practice in, the profession since qualifying or obtaining registration.
Re-entry to practice program: a program of study accredited by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) and approved by the NMBA as preparation for nurses and midwives for re-entry to the register. This may be after a lapse in practice and/or removal from the register for a period exceeding the requirement in the Registration standard: Recency of practice. It contains both a theoretical and a clinical experience component.
Supervised practice: a period of practice under supervision. It is a formal process of professional support and learning which allows a nurse and/or midwife (supervisee) to develop knowledge and competence, assume responsibility for their own practice and enhance public protection and safety. Supervision may be direct, indirect or remote according to the nature of context under which the practice is being supervised. It is the responsibility of the nurse/midwife to arrange a placement that meets the requirements of the NMBA for re-entry to practice, including that:
Levels of supervision
Supervisor physically present at all times to observe the supervisee
The supervisor takes direct and principal responsibility for all individual patients receiving care from the supervisee.
The supervisee must consult with and follow the directions of the supervisor about the management of each patient, including the process of assessment, before care is given. The care provided must be directly observed by the supervisor who is physically present with the supervisee at all times.
Indirect 1 (present)
Supervisor physically present at the workplace
The supervisee and the supervisor share responsibility for all individual patients receiving care from the supervisee.
The supervisee must consult with the supervisor who is always physically present in the workplace or practice environment and available to observe and discuss at agreed intervals and as necessary for the:
Indirect 2 (accessible)
Supervisor is accessible by phone or other means and available to physically attend the workplace
The supervisee takes primary responsibility for their practice and the management of all individual patients receiving care from the supervisee under the supervisor's general oversight.
The supervisee must consult with the supervisor who is accessible by telephone, video conference or other means of telecommunication and available to attend the workplace or practice environment to observe and discuss at agreed intervals and as necessary for the:
This may be after the care is given to the patient.
Supervisor is not present at the workplace
The supervisee takes primary responsibility for their practice including the management of all individual patients receiving care from the supervisee under the supervisor's general oversight.
The supervisee must consult with the supervisor, who is accessible by telephone, video conference or other means of telecommunication at agreed intervals and as necessary for the: