Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia - June 2018
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June 2018


Message from the Chair

Thank you to all of you who have renewed your registration. June is the late period for renewal, so if you have not yet renewed you will need to do so by the end of this month or you will come off the register and no longer be able to practise. Registration lets the public, your colleagues and your employer know that you’re fit to practise. Online renewal is the quickest and easiest way to renew.

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

Associate Professor Lynette Cusack RN

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NMBA news

Australia represented by Debra Thoms on the World Health Organization Executive Board

At the recent meeting of World Health Assembly, Australia was elected to the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) and represented by Adjunct Professor Debra Thoms at the most recent meeting. Adjunct Professor Thoms commented that it was an honour to represent Australia. 'I'm very proud as an Australian nurse and midwife to have participated in this global forum,' Adjunct Professor Thoms said.  

Working with 194 Member States across six regions and from more than 150 offices, WHO staff are united in a shared commitment to achieve better health for everyone, everywhere.

You can watch an interview with Adjunct Professor Thoms and other health leaders on the topic of universal health coverage, recorded at the World Health Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland on 22-24 May.

Australian nurse appointed as CEO of the International Council of Nurses

The NMBA would like to congratulate Dr Isabelle Skinner on her appointment to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). ICN works to ensure quality nursing care for all, globally.

Dr Skinner is currently a senior research fellow with James Cook University’s Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health. She holds a PhD, a Master of Tropical Health and Medicine, an MBA and a Graduate Diploma in Professional Communications. She will take up her position at the ICN in August 2018. To find out more about ICN, visit their website.

Updates from the April and May 2018 NMBA meetings

Each month the NMBA meets to make decisions on the regulation of nursing and midwifery in Australia.

At its April meeting, the NMBA progressed the preliminary consultation on prescribing scheduled medicines for registered nurses. Public consultation will open in the coming months.

The NMBA has formed a joint working group with the newly established Paramedicine Board of Australia to establish guidance for dual registered nurses and paramedics.

The NMBA continues to move towards the new approach to the assessment of overseas qualified nurses and midwives. Under the National Law1, the NMBA oversees the assessment of the knowledge and clinical skills of overseas trained nurses and midwives, to determine their suitability for registration in Australia. The new approach to the assessment for internationally qualified nurses and midwives is expected to commence in the next eighteen months. The NMBA will provide further updates in its newsletter and website.

To see the April and May 2018 decisions on approved programs of study leading to registration and endorsement, please view the communiqués:

1 The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (the National Law), as in force in each state and territory.

Remembering the nurses and midwives who served

On Anzac Day this year, members of the NMBA commemorated Australia’s servicemen and servicewomen, including the nurses and midwives who served.

Members from the state and territory boards participated in local Anzac Day ceremonies.

Among those who attended services were members of the Tasmanian Board and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Board of the NMBA. Members laid wreaths to acknowledge the contribution made by nurses and midwives in times of conflict and in peace missions.

ACT members also attended the Nurses and midwives remembrance and thanksgiving wreath laying ceremony at the Australian War Memorial during International Nurses and Midwives Week, to commemorate all nurses and midwives who served Australia.


Tasmania's Chief Nurse and Midwife and Chair of the Tasmanian board of the NMBA laying a wreath on Anzac DayMembers of the ACT board of the NMBA laying wreaths at the Australian War MemorialMembers of the ACT board of the NMBA laying a wreath on Anzac Day.













Photo (left)
: Tasmania’s Chief Nurse and Midwife Adjunct Associate Professor Francine Douce laying a wreath for the Florence Nightingale Grants and Awards Committee (left) and Chair of the Tasmanian Board of the NMBA Cat Schofield laying a wreath on Anzac Day.

Photo (centre): Kathryn Baird (ANMAC) and Felicity Dalzell (Chair of ACT Board) laying wreaths at the Nurses and midwives remembrance and thanksgiving wreath laying ceremony at the Australian War Memorial.

Photo (right) L to R: Group Captain Andrew Ormsby, Wing Commander Kelley Stewart (ACT Board), Felicity Dalzell (Chair of ACT Board), Alison Chandra (ACT Board), Emma Baldock (ACT Board), Carmel McQuellin (ACT Board) and Acting Director of Defence Force Nursing Lieutenant Colonel Jo-Anne Ikin laying wreaths on Anzac Day.  

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Have you renewed your registration?

The NMBA would like to thank the nurses and midwives who have renewed their registration on time this year.

If you have missed the 31 May renewal deadline and you wish to keep practising, you must submit your renewal application by 30 June or risk your registration lapsing. If your registration lapses, you won’t be able to practise as a nurse or midwife.

Renewal applications received in June will incur a late payment fee in addition to the annual renewal fee, as outlined in the National Law.

Online renewal is the quickest and easiest way to renew your registration and is explained in our short video for nurses and midwives. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) manages the registration process on behalf of the NMBA, so if you are having trouble renewing please contact AHPRA.

Enrolled nurses and medication administration

The NMBA has recently heard queries from nurses about enrolled nurses (ENs), notation and medication administration. We have fact sheet, Enrolled nurses and medication administration, to make this area clearer for ENs and their employers.

Before the start of the National Scheme in 2010, in some states and territories ENs educated to administer medications had an endorsement on their registration. When we moved to national registration of nurses and midwives in 2010 this changed and those ENs were no longer endorsed. This means that the title ‘endorsed enrolled nurse’ is no longer used.

Since 2010, the ENs who are not educated to administer medications have a notation on their registration that states ‘does not hold a board-approved qualification in administration of medicines.’

ENs who do not have a notation have completed medication administration education at some time in their career and are able to administer medications.

ENs who have a notation and want to have it removed need to complete the unit of study Administer and Monitor Medicines and Intravenous Therapy HLTENN007, which is provided within an NMBA-approved diploma of nursing.

For more information please view the fact sheet.

Nurse is 700,000th registered health practitioner

The NMBA, National Boards and AHPRA have welcomed the 700,000th health practitioner currently registered in Australia.

Victoria-based enrolled nurse Alison Tregeagle graduated in March 2018 as a mature-aged nursing graduate. Her registration with the NMBA was confirmed and published last month on the national Register of practitioners.

‘I am very excited to get my career in nursing started. Getting my registration is the final step in what feels like the culmination of 20-plus years of trying to find a job that I love doing. I came to nursing later in life. My grandmother, aunt, mother and sister were or are all nurses, but at first I didn’t follow in their footsteps. I worked in the healthcare sector in various roles, and enjoyed the flexibility this gave me to support my family life with my three children, but always felt I should have or could have been doing something more gratifying.

‘Today I can say I am an enrolled nurse – and I’m really proud of that fact,’ she said.

Reaching the 700,000th registered practitioner milestone comes almost eight years after the launch of the National Scheme on 1 July 2010, when AHPRA and the National Boards for 10 health professions began their regulatory partnership governed by a nationally consistent National Law.

NMBA Chair, Associate Professor Lynette Cusack, congratulated Alison on her registration. When reflecting on this milestone she believes that national regulation has been effective in creating a competent, qualified and mobile Australian health workforce.

‘I would like to congratulate Alison on her registration and all the other nurses and midwives who have renewed their registration this year. The process of registration makes sure that only those with the appropriate qualifications and who meet the high standards the public expects are providing safe healthcare to the Australian community. I welcome her to the nursing profession where she joins more than 390,000 nurses and midwives registered with the NMBA to practise in Australia.’

You can check the registration status of Australia’s registered health workforce using the national online Register of practitioners, with details of registered practitioners updated several times each day across Australia. The national register is a great resource to help keep the public safe.

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National Scheme news

Have your say on registered nurse accreditation standards

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) is the independent accrediting authority for nursing and midwifery education.

ANMAC is currently reviewing the Registered nurse accreditation standards 2012. These are the standards that programs of study need to meet to be an NMBA approved program of study leading to registration as an RN. You can have your say by visiting ANMAC’s website and completing an online survey. The consultation closes on 27 July 2018.

Research finds truly vexatious complaints are very rare

New independent research commissioned by AHPRA has looked internationally at vexatious complaints, finding these are very rare and that there is more risk from people not reporting concerns than from making complaints in bad faith.

AHPRA commissioned the research from the School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne to find out the size of the problem of vexatious complaints and identify how they can be better prevented, identified and managed. AHPRA initiated the work in line with its commitment to the Senate Affairs Reference Committee inquiry into the medical complaints process in Australia.

The report found that the number of vexatious complaints dealt with in Australia and internationally is very small, less than one per cent, but they have a big effect on everyone involved. The research also confirms that the risk of someone not reporting their concerns is greater than if the complaint turns out to be vexatious.

There is a common misconception that a complaint must have been vexatious if it resulted in no regulatory action. However, a decision by a National Board not to take regulatory action does not mean that the complaint was unfounded or made in bad faith. For example, a risk to the public may have been adequately addressed between the time the complaint was made and when the investigation concluded.

 The research identified some helpful processes for identifying and responding to this type of complaint in a timely way. Efforts to better prevent and manage vexatious complaints must be carefully designed so they don’t discourage those with legitimate concerns from coming forward.

The report will be used to inform best practice for reducing, identifying, and managing vexatious complaints and helps to identify opportunities to work with others to help reduce their frequency and adverse consequences.

The report is available on the AHPRA website under published research.

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 8/07/2024