July 2018

Contents


Message from the Chair

This month the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) has opened consultation on the proposed model for registered nurses to prescribe in partnership, and you are invited to give us your feedback.

The proposed model is evidence-based and has been developed in consultation with nursing stakeholders, governments and consumers over several years. Now’s your chance to review the consultation documents and complete our short survey to have your say.

Associate Professor Lynette Cusack RN
Chair, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia

Associate Professor Lynette Cusack RN

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NMBA news

Have your say on registered nurse prescribing

The NMBA has opened public consultation on a proposed endorsement for registered nurses to prescribe scheduled medicines in a prescribing partnership model.

The draft proposed Registration standard: Endorsement for scheduled medicines for registered nurses prescribing in partnership and Guidelines: For registered nurses applying for and with the endorsement for scheduled medicines – prescribing in partnership were developed in partnership with Australian and New Zealand Council of Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officers (ANZCCNMO).

The NMBA and ANZCCNMO have consulted with governments, key nursing stakeholders, nurses and consumers to formulate the basis for the proposed new registration standard.

NMBA Chair, Associate Professor Lynette Cusack, said that the proposed endorsement will help Australian health care services to meet the growing health care needs of the population.

‘RNs are the largest number of health professionals in the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme. They work in all sectors of health care and 18 per cent work in outer regional, remote or very remote locations. The proposed endorsement will give this vital profession further ability to meet the growing needs of our communities.’

The draft registration standard and accompanying guidelines are now open for public consultation and all interested parties are encouraged to give feedback.

‘The NMBA has developed the draft registration standard from the best evidence, including national and international literature reviews, as well as stakeholder consultation over several years.

‘Now we’d like to hear from nurses, other health professionals and the wider public – you can have your say by reading the consultation documents and then completing our short survey.’

To have your say, please visit the current consultations section of our website to read the consultation documents and then take our survey. The consultation closes on 21 September 2018.

Updates from the June 2018 NMBA meeting

In June, the NMBA met in Darwin and was joined by David Carpenter, a member of the Northern Territory Board of the NMBA.

The NMBA held an information forum for nurses and midwives at the Royal Darwin Hospital, to provide an update on the standards of the professions and the work of the Board.

Nurses and midwives attend an NMBA information forum at Royal Darwin Hospital
Photo: Nurses and midwives attend an NMBA information forum at the Royal Darwin Hospital.

To see the June 2018 decisions on approved programs of study leading to registration and endorsement, please view the communiqué:

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Registration

Professional indemnity insurance: what you need to know

As nurses and midwives registered with the NMBA, you’ll be aware that you need to meet the Professional indemnity insurance (PII) arrangements registration standard.

This means you need to have PII in place when you practise, to cover all areas of your practice.

Here are some facts about meeting the standard which you might not know.

You should check if your employer covers you

Many nurses and midwives will be covered by their employer for PII, but it’s up to you to check.

You can arrange PII:

  • through your private or public sector employer 
  • as part of membership of a professional body, trade union or defence organisation 
  • through a contract of insurance obtained by you directly from an insurer or through an insurance broker, or 
  • through a combination of the above.

Practising in a combination of employed, self-employed or volunteer roles

If you’re practising in both employed and self-employed roles, you’ll need to make sure you’re covered for both – you may be covered by your employer for some of your practice, but need to take out cover for your self-employed practice.

If you’re practising in a volunteer or unpaid role, you still need to have appropriate PII arrangements in place. Some organisations will have PII arrangements in place which cover volunteers, but it’s up to you to check that you’re covered.

What amount of cover do I need?

You must make sure that your PII arrangements provide an appropriate amount of cover.

The amount of cover needs to be enough to meet any liability (that is, legal responsibility) to pay compensation if a successful claim is made against you. The appropriate amount of cover for you may depend on a combination of factors, including, for example:

  • the practice area or areas you work in 
  • the service users you work with
  • the risks involved with your practice
  • your previous history of insurance claims and the type of claim made against you in the past, if any, and 
  • your professional experience.

What might be appropriate cover for one nurse or midwife may be not be appropriate for another. It’s up to you to seek advice from:

  • your insurer or insurance broker 
  • your professional body (e.g. the Australian College of Nursing, Australian College of Midwives, or Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation)
  • your union, and
  • your employer.

For more information on PII and your responsibilities as a nurse or midwife, please view the NMBA fact sheet.

Nursing and midwifery regulation at work: notification case studies

Codes of conduct case studies

The NMBA recently published case studies on conduct issues to help you and your employer apply the codes of conduct to your practice.

The case studies look at examples of: 

  • under-involvement/lack of care 
  • cultural practice and respectful relationships
  • bullying and harassment
  • professional boundaries, and
  • privacy and confidentiality.

You can view the conduct case studies alongside the codes of conduct, under the professional standards section of the NMBA website.

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National Scheme news

Release of national registration standards for paramedics

New national registration standards for paramedics have been released in readiness for the national registration of all paramedics, which is expected late this year.

Paramedicine Board of Australia Chair, Associate Professor Stephen Gough ASM said, ‘I urge all paramedics across Australia to visit the Board’s website and read the registration standards, as they will apply to all paramedics, regardless of where they work.’

When paramedicine becomes a regulated profession under the National Scheme later this year, the title ‘paramedic’ will become a protected title under the National Law. This means that only people who are registered with the National Board will be able to lawfully call themselves a paramedic.

To register, paramedics must demonstrate that they meet the five mandatory registration standards: 

  • continuing professional development 
  • criminal history 
  • English language skills
  • professional indemnity insurance arrangements, and
  • recency of practice.

The National Board has also released a time-limited grandparenting registration standard, which temporarily provides a path to registration for current paramedics who don’t have an approved or accepted qualification, but can demonstrate their competency via other training, qualification and/or experience.

You can find out more about the registration standards on the Board’s website. Or, to receive the latest news on our progress towards implementing the national regulation of paramedics, you can sign up for the Paramedicine e-News update.

The standards were approved by Health Ministers at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council meeting held on 13 April 2018.

National registration for paramedics is expected to open later in the year, at a date determined by Health Ministers.

Keep in touch with the NMBA

  • Visit the NMBA website for registration standards, codes, guidelines and FAQ.
  • Lodge an online enquiry form.
  • For registration enquiries, call 1300 419 495 (from within Australia) or +61 3 9275 9009 (for overseas callers).
  • Address mail correspondence to: Associate Professor Lynette Cusack RN, Chair, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne, VIC 3001.

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Page reviewed 6/09/2018