Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia - June 2022

June 2022

Contents


Message from the Chair

The NMBA and I recognise and acknowledge the continued strength and resilience shown by our nurses and midwives who are experiencing ongoing personal and professional pressure. This is not only related to the pandemic response but also as a result of the challenges caused by recent natural disasters across Australia. In these extreme circumstances, nurses and midwives continue to meet their responsibilities to their work and support their communities in times they need it most. Thank you for all that you do, and we encourage anyone who is struggling to contact Nurse & Midwife Support on 1800 667 877 for free and confidential 24/7 mental health services.

We also congratulate the recent recipients of the Queen’s Birthday Honours and thank them for their outstanding service to their profession. You’ll find a link to the full list of nurse and midwife recipients below.

Finally, as the registration period comes to a close, I would like to thank those of you retiring from your profession, as this may be the last newsletter you receive before the register is updated. Thank you for your commitment to your profession and the years of service to the Australian public. All the very best for your future endeavors. 

Adjunct Professor Veronica Casey

Chair, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia

Veronica Casey   

 back to top

NMBA news

Nurse & Midwife Support services expanding

Nurse & Midwife Support is a 24/7 national support service for nurses and midwives that provides access to confidential advice and referral. This service is run by nurses and midwives to support nurses and midwives, students, educators, and concerned family and friends. Working closely with the NMBA, Nurse & Midwife Support has approved a new suite of services to support nurses and midwives. These services include:  

Notification navigator

With a planned launch in August 2022, this service will offer free support for nurses and midwives who are the subject of a notification. It will provide them with accessible, professional, confidential, compassionate and individualised support throughout the notification process. 

Interactive, guided wellbeing resources

A series of evidence-informed resources to support the mental health and wellbeing of nurses and midwives is expected to be made available in October 2022. 

New graduate support

Nurse & Midwife Support is conducting focus groups of early career nurses and midwives to inform the tailoring of resources to new graduates. These resources are designed to support the transition to independent practice/graduate years. As well, a mentoring program connecting early career professionals with experienced nurse and midwife mentors is expected to launch in December 2022.  The NMBA acknowledges this unprecedented era in healthcare and its effect on nurses and midwives across the country. We encourage you to reach out to Nurse & Midwife Support on 1800 667 877 for free and confidential support. 

Queen’s Birthday Honours for nurses and midwives

The NMBA congratulates the Queen’s Birthday 2022 Honours recipients and celebrates the incredible work of the nurses and midwives recognised for their service. The full list of recipients can be viewed on the Governor General’s website.

NMBA updated position statement on cosmetic procedures 

The NMBA has recently made amendments to the Position statement: Nurses and cosmetic medical procedures (position statement) following recent stakeholder feedback. 

We encourage all nurses who work, or wish to work, in the area of cosmetic (non-surgical) medical procedures to get to know the updated position statement. 

This position statement includes guidance for:

  • all nurses working in the area of cosmetic medical procedures, including specific advice for enrolled nurses, registered nurses and nurse practitioners
  • cosmetic injections – detailed expectations of prescribers and the role of the registered nurse and enrolled nurse
  • supervision requirements for enrolled nurses, and
  • registered nurses with a sole qualification in mental health nursing, paediatric nursing or disability nursing seeking to practise in the area of cosmetic medical procedures. 

We also encourage those working in the area of cosmetic medical procedures that have concerns surrounding their own conduct or the conduct of others to come to us directly. Many of us have seen these issues raised in the media. Public safety is our priority and we can take steps to improve practice and public safety if we know about concerns. You can submit a concern by phone, through our online portal, or by email or post. 

Ahpra and the Medical Board of Australia are conducting a separate review into cosmetic surgery. The NMBA may amend the Position statement: Nurses and cosmetic medical procedures in future, based on the recommendations of that review.
 
The position statement is available on the NMBA website

Updates from recent NMBA meetings

The NMBA has started its preliminary consultation with stakeholders for the review of the Safety and quality guidelines for privately practising midwives. We intend to release an updated version for public consultation later this year. This is part of the NMBA’s regular five-yearly review of the guidelines to ensure they remain fit for purpose.

The NMBA has worked with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to support nurse practitioners wanting to prescribe medicinal cannabis, to ensure they have the appropriate pharmacotherapeutic education, training and competence to safely diagnose and treat relevant health conditions and prescribe medicinal cannabis.

Each month the NMBA makes decisions on approved programs of study leading to registration and endorsement. To see the up-to-date, searchable list of approved programs, please visit the Approved programs of study section on our website.

back to top

Registration

Registration renewal late period closing

A reminder for those that are yet to renew their registration that the late period will close 30 June, anyone who does not renew their registration will be removed from the register, will not be able to practice and will have to re-apply for registration.  

Log in to your online service portal now to renew. 

Retiring from the profession? NMBA farewells nurses and midwives

For those retiring from the nursing and or midwifery profession, this newsletter may be the last communication you receive before you drop off the national register. Thank you for your service to the profession and we wish you luck with your next steps.

Being a nurse or midwife means something, and we appreciate your commitment to the health and wellbeing of the public

Social media and you: how what you post can affect your registration

The NMBA receives a significant number of notifications about health practitioners posting inappropriate materials on social media platforms, particularly posts expressing anti-vaccination views.

Most nurses and midwives wouldn’t associate an online forum such as Instagram or Facebook with their ability to provide the public with safe and supportive care. However, as the virtual landscape expands and more practitioners adopt social media for business purposes, we remind nurses and midwives that you must uphold your obligations to promote public health across any/all platforms you may use. 

This obligation is echoed in your nursing and midwifery codes of conduct. 

In advocating for the foundations of primary health, you must: 

  • use your expertise and influence to protect and advance the health and wellbeing of individuals as well as communities and populations 
  • understand and apply the principles of primary and public health, including health education, health promotion, disease prevention, control and health screening using the best available evidence in making practice decisions, and 
  • participate in efforts to promote the health of communities and meet their obligations with respect to disease prevention including vaccination, health screening and reporting notifiable diseases.  

What is considered an inappropriate media presence?

  • Sharing anti-vaccination memes, other people’s comments and/or any message that may be seen to counter the government mandates in place to protect public health.
  • Sharing confidential information in a public forum – social media platforms would be considered public forums.
  • Identifying as a nurse and referring to nursing skills and knowledge when making recommendations, as this has the potential to sway public opinion and damage the reputation of the nursing profession as a whole.
  • Regular posting or sharing of information not supported by medical evidence.

You should also consider that once you share information, even just with your own followers, you immediately lose control of that content as others can share it.

These actions are likely to be considered a breach of the Code of conduct and could result in regulatory action.

Read more about Ahpra’s social media guidance

back to top

Nursing and midwifery regulation at work: notification case studies

Tribunal orders cancellation of registration of nurse after criminal convictions

A tribunal has ordered the cancellation of a registered nurse’s registration following his breach of professional boundaries and criminal convictions. 

Trigger warning: Some readers may find this article distressing. If you are experiencing distress, please visit the NM Support website or contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 for help.

Read more

Tribunal reprimands nurse who breached conditions of her registration

A tribunal has reprimanded a registered nurse and imposed conditions on her registration after she repeatedly breached drug and alcohol conditions on her registration.

Trigger warning: Some readers may find this article distressing. If you are experiencing distress, please visit the NM Support website or contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 for help.

Read more

Fake nurse fined after Ahpra prosecution

In a prosecution by Ahpra, an unregistered Sydney woman who worked as a nurse at a medical centre was convicted and fined, after previously being arrested when she failed to appear before the Windsor Local Court of New South Wales.

Read more

Former nurse convicted for continuing to practise after surrendering registration

Ahpra has successfully prosecuted a former registered nurse, Mr Alexis Travero Alvarez, for four charges of holding himself out as a registered nurse after he had surrendered his registration.

Read more

back to top

National Scheme news

2021 pandemic response sub-register gets a boost

In September 2021, Ahpra and the National Boards established a new sub-register (the 2021 sub-register), enabling recently retired practitioners from 12 regulated health professions including nursing and midwifery to return to practice for up to 12 months.

There are now 20,730 health practitioners with temporary registration on the sub-register to support the COVID-19 response. They are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners, dental practitioners (all divisions), diagnostic radiographers, medical practitioners, midwives, nurses, occupational therapists, optometrists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, podiatrists and psychologists.

All practitioners on the 2021 sub-register can work to the full scope of their registration (subject to any notations). Their registration expires on 21 September 2022. However, if governments alert Ahpra and the National Boards to significant changes in need, the sub-register may stay open for longer.

See pandemic response sub-register and FAQs for practitioners for more information. There are also FAQs for employers.

Senate Committee tables its report

The Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee has tabled its report on the inquiry into the Administration of registration and notifications by Ahpra and related entities under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law. 

Ahpra actively engaged with the inquiry, with representatives of Ahpra, the Agency Management Committee and Community Advisory Council all appearing. There were public submissions and stakeholder appearances.

We will consider the recommendations directed to Ahpra and National Boards and contribute to the Australian Government response, as requested.

The report is available on the Inquiry web page.

Keep in touch with the NMBA

  • Visit the NMBA website for registration standards, codes, guidelines and FAQs.
  • Lodge an online enquiry form.
  • For registration enquiries, call 1300 419 495 (from within Australia) or +61 3 9285 3010 (for overseas callers).
  • Address mail correspondence to: Adjunct Professor Veronica Casey AM, Chair, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne, VIC 3001.

back to top

 
 
Page reviewed 30/06/2022