Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia - Tribunal maintains NMBA conditions requiring nurse to complete re-entry course
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Tribunal maintains NMBA conditions requiring nurse to complete re-entry course

25 Feb 2020

A tribunal has maintained conditions imposed by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) on an enrolled nurse’s registration requiring her to undertake an NMBA-approved re-entry course.

In January 2018, the NMBA informed Ms Siham Walton of its decision to change the conditions on her registration to include requiring her to undertake an NMBA-approved re-entry to practice course by 31 May 2018.

In April 2018, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (tribunal) received Ms Walton’s application for a review of the NMBA decision.

At the hearing on 18 December 2018, the tribunal heard that Ms Walton had not practised as an enrolled nurse for almost 10 years. Ms Walton was first registered in 2004 and had worked in aged care for close to two years before being elected to her local council and ceasing to practise as a nurse. She recommenced practising for about two months in 2009. She had not completed any continuing professional development courses between 2014 and 2018.

Ms Walton submitted that her other non-nursing roles in aged care, including volunteer positions, should be regarded by the NMBA as relevant to her recency of practice under the NMBA Recency of practice registration standard and make her eligible for the alternative pathway in the NMBA Re-entry to practice for nurses and midwives policy which requires a period of supervised practice.

The tribunal accepted the NMBA submissions that Ms Walton’s experience only meets the NMBA pathway requiring her to undertake a re-entry course, as Ms Walton has:

  • minimal experience in nursing prior to her lapse in professional practice – Ms Walton’s experience is limited both in scope (in nursing homes) and in duration compared to many nurses
  • little, if any, relevant contemporary education with little or no period of consolidation in professional practice
  • not persuasively demonstrated that she can meet the relevant standards for nursing, and
  • been unable to demonstrate that her previous experience is now relevant to her application.

The tribunal varied the NMBA conditions to clarify that Ms Walton must not practise until she has successfully completed a re-entry course and that the issue will be reviewed at the renewal date for all nurses (31 May).

The tribunal’s decision is available on the Austlii website.

Page reviewed 25/02/2020