Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia - Media release
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Media release

14 Oct 2013

The National Board is seeking feedback on a newly released consultation paper.

Re-entry to practice: public consultation

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (National Board) is inviting feedback on a proposed re-entry to practice framework including:

  • Draft Re-entry to practice policy 
  • Draft Principles for assessing applicants for re-entry to practice 
  • Draft Re-entry to practice self assessment tool 
  • Draft Re-entry to practice - Fact sheet, and 
  • Draft Supervision guidelines for nursing and midwifery.

The National Board is also proposing to introduce a pathway for provisional registration for nurses and midwives seeking to re-enter the workforce after a break.

This consultation closes at 4pm on Monday 9 December 2013.

The proposed re-entry to practice pathways widen options for formerly registered nurses and midwives seeking to return to the professions after an absence. They aim to encourage workforce flexibility, while ensuring public safety and competent practice.

The proposed supervision guidelines for nursing and midwifery set out principles for effective management in a range of circumstances. A number of National Boards within the National Scheme have supervision guidelines for their professions.

Provisional registrants would receive different levels of monitoring depending on their skills, experience and time away from work. Their return to the workforce would be in one of three Board-approved re-entry pathways:

  • Supervised practice (pathway 1) – a Board-approved period of supervised practice 
  • Re-entry to practice program (pathway 2) – enrolment into a Board-approved program, or 
  • Requisite studies (pathway 3) – enrolment in a Board-approved re-entry to practice pathway within a Board-approved entry to practice program of study leading to initial registration.

Benefits of re-entry pathways

There are almost 350,000 registered nurses and midwives in Australia. Nearly 90 per cent are women who may, for a variety of reasons, take extended time away from the professions and then seek to return to work.

By establishing re-entry pathways, the National Board is facilitating the return to work of registered nurses and midwives who are competent to practice. The re-entry pathways balance public safety and workforce flexibility while ensuring:

  • consistent and transparent assessment of applications in a streamlined process 
  • consistent registration of applicants across state and territory jurisdictions, and 
  • monitoring of registrants.

To access the consultation documents for your submission, please visit Current consultations on the National Board website.

About the National Board

The role of the National Board is to protect the public. The National Board sets registration standards as well as professional codes, standards and guidelines that underpin safe and competent practice. These standards also help to clarify the National Board’s expectations of nurses and midwives on a range of matters.

The National Board has powers under section 38 of the National Law to develop, consult on and recommend registration standards to the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council).

These registration standards establish the requirements for nurses and midwives’:

  • eligibility for registration in the nursing and midwifery professions, or 
  • suitability to competently and safely practise the profession.

The National Board’s registration standards are available under Registration standards on the National Board website.

For more information

  • Lodge an online enquiry form 
  • For registration enquiries: 1300 419 495 (within Australia) +61 3 8708 9001 (overseas callers) 
  • For media enquiries: (03) 8708 9200

Download a PDF of this Media release - Re-entry to practice: public consultation - 14 October 2013 (202 KB,PDF)

Page reviewed 14/10/2013