Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia - March 2023
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March 2023

Contents


Message from the Chair

Welcome to the first NMBA newsletter of 2023. 

I’m excited to see what the year brings for the nursing and midwifery professions. The NMBA and I acknowledge the pressure and stress that these past few years have had on nurses and midwives and we’re working very hard to create safe and sustainable workforces for the future. This can be seen in our work in re-entry to practice, internationally qualified nurse and midwife pathways and our full review of the midwifery workforce. 

Our website has also had a facelift recently. The new layout allows you to customise the content to better suit your needs. Head to our homepage to check out the new design. 

A quick reminder the renewal period for nurses and midwives is fast approaching and we’ve included some helpful tips and tricks in this edition to prepare. 

Best wishes,

Adjunct Professor Veronica Casey

Chair, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia

Veronica Casey   

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NMBA news

Simplifying return to practice pathways

To support a flexible, responsible and sustainable nursing and midwifery workforce, we must ensure that our policies and processes remain fit for purpose. A new project has begun to review the current re-entry to practice pathways to ensure they are as efficient and effective as possible. 

The project will identify what is working with the current approach, but also identify opportunities to amend our approach to workforce re-entry to improve the timeliness of the process and the quality of nurses and midwives re-entering the workforce. 

Recent changes to the policy 

The NMBA recently updated the policy Re-entry to practice for nurses and midwives to include consideration for those who have not practised for 10 to 15 years. 

This update is an interim solution while we conduct a full review of the policy. 

Our role is to protect the public by ensuring that anyone who is registered as a nurse or midwife is safe and competent to practise. When supporting a nurse or midwife’s re-entry to practice, we must balance the requirements of public safety with effective pathways back into the professions that ensure safe and competent practice.

Learn more about the recent changes to the policy: Re-entry to practice for nurses and midwives.

Farewell to Gemma Martin, NMBA community member 

We would like to thank and acknowledge Gemma Martin for her significant and valued contributions to the NMBA . Gemma brought with her over 15 years of community service and healthcare expertise and maintained a strong connection to public safety in her role on the Board. Her skills, experience and insight played an important role in the protection of the public and the regulation of the nursing and midwifery professions.  We thank her and wish her luck in her future roles. 

Australia Day 2023 honours list 

We warmly congratulate the nurses and midwives who were recognised in the Australia Day 2023 honours list. Your commitment to the provision of excellent healthcare to your local communities and country continues to inspire us. 

Updates from recent NMBA meetings

The recent public consultation on the revisions to the Safety and quality guidelines for privately practising midwives has closed, and the guidelines are being finalised for publication. We will be offering webinar sessions for privately practising midwives who want to learn about the revised guidelines.

The NMBA has also approved the development of a new registration standard to streamline internationally qualified RN pathways to registration.  We will be consulting on the registration standard in the coming months.

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.

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Registration

Getting ready for renewal

Registration renewal opens in April and you will have until 31 May to submit your application before late fees apply.

Check your login and contact details

Make sure you check your login information to avoid having to phone Ahpra during the busy renewal period.

  • Remember, your user ID for online services is different to your registration number – check your renewal reminder emails from Ahpra to find your user ID.
  • If you know your user ID, but have forgotten your password, you can reset your password online.

No change to fees this year

For the second year in a row, registration fees have not changed. This means the cost of your renewal remains the same as 2021 and 2022. The cost of renewing your registration will remain at $180 for the 2023 period. 

Your registration fees go directly to regulating for safety in nursing and midwifery and keeping the public safe. Our regulatory work is entirely funded by registrant fees and we receive no ongoing government funding for this work. 

CPD requirements for 2023

Continuing professional development (CPD) is how nurses and midwives improve and broaden their knowledge, expertise and competence, and develop the personal and professional qualities needed throughout their professional lives. The NMBA’s expectations about CPD have returned to pre-COVID requirements. 

These expectations are very flexible and we recognise that people learn in different ways. CPD includes formal and informal learning activities. CPD is an important foundation of lifelong learning and helps nurses and midwives maintain their competence to practise throughout their professional journey. Read more about your CPD requirements on the NMBA website

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Students and graduates

Express your interest in joining Nurse & Midwife Support Mentor Program

As a new graduate you may be feeling some angst about joining the workforce or just feel that you may need some extra support as you transition to practice. 

 To help you succeed in your new role, Nurse & Midwife Support (NMS) has developed a suite of new resources for graduates including the Nurse & Midwife Support Mentor Program. 

Starting this month, NMS will connect new graduates with mentors who are keen to support the next generation of nurses and midwives. We are seeking expressions of interest from graduate nurses and midwives who want to be mentored. 

What does the program involve? 

The mentorship program focuses on building nurturing and collaborative relationships to support new graduates during the initial phase of entering the workforce. The program aims to enhance early career wellbeing, ultimately improving retention, which will help us maintain stable nursing and midwifery workforces. In the pilot phase, we will seek to evaluate and provide an evidence-based mentorship program, suited for the Australian health landscape, via a sustainable online program.

You will be paired on the basis of similar experiences, contexts of practice, models of care, location and identity. We are inviting mentors and mentees from a variety of practice areas. 

The program will entail:

  • Mentor training which includes the support structure for mentors, understanding regulatory frameworks, the mentoring process in detail and supporting mentees through active listening and reflective practice.
  • Initial meeting with mentors and mentees.
  • Regular check-ins with NMS and Turning Point staff.
  • Ongoing feedback via interview and surveys.

Mentees will develop goals with mentors relevant to their professional practice. Nurse & Midwife Support will assist participants with any difficult professional issues. The goal is for the new graduates to feel supported and able to deal with regulatory, professional and clinical issues.

How do I qualify to be mentored? 

Mentees will need to have graduated within the last 12 months, entering nursing and/or midwifery professions and are eager to receive advice, training, or guidance from a more experienced and skilled practitioner. 

How to express your interest 

If you are a new graduate and are interested in becoming a mentee, please contact: [email protected] 

About Nurse & Midwife Support 

Nurse & Midwife Support is a 24/7 national support service for all nurses, midwives and students. We offer confidential advice and referral. Our service is run by nurses and midwives, for nurses and midwives. 

First time renewing? Find out what you need to know

If you were granted registration in the last 12 months and this is your first time renewing, we have helpful information you need online. Here we answer a couple of common questions.

What if I got my registration less than a year ago, do I still have to renew?

Registration for nurses and midwives is renewed annually by 31 May, regardless of how long you were registered for during the previous 12 months.

If you are a graduate who registered within two months before the 31 May annual renewal date you are registered to practise until 31 May of the following year. Check the national register of practitioners if you’re not sure when your registration is due for renewal.

How much CPD do I have to do? 

When you renew your general registration, you are asked to declare if you have met the CPD registration standard in the previous registration period. The studies which qualified you for registration as a nurse or a midwife do not count as CPD. You need to do CPD even if you haven’t been practising as a nurse or midwife. 

If you have been registered less than a year, the CPD hours you are required to do will be calculated on a pro-rata basis, as below:

  • registered for 0-3 months ≥ 5 hours CPD required
  • registered for >3-6 months ≥ 10 hours CPD required
  • registered for >6-9 months ≥ 15 hours CPD required
  • registered for > 9-12 months ≥ 20 hours CPD required.

For more tips, visit the NMBA’s First-time renewing page.

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Spotlight

New engagement and support team to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners with their registration

Ahpra acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and the continuing connection to lands, waters, and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and Elders past and present.

Ahpra has recently established a new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement and Support team (the support team) to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants, registrants and stakeholders through the registration process. 

The support team forms part of Ahpra’s commitments to providing culturally safe services to its applicants, registrants and stakeholders.  

Who is it for?

The support team will focus on assisting recent applicants and new graduates who have identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander on their application form. The team’s one-on-one services range from providing helpful tips and tricks for navigating the registration process to regular phone contact, updates and advice on disclosures made on application (for example, impairments or previous criminal history) that may require consideration by the National Board. 

The team plans to expand its services soon, which will include helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners with the renewals process from 2023 onwards.   

What to expect?

The support team is committed to ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners, including nurses and midwives, get registered/renewed promptly so they can focus on their contributions to safe healthcare and to their communities. Keep an eye out for regular emails from the team or reach out for help at [email protected].

Members of the team will be attending community events and conferences relating to nursing and midwifery. 

If you are a current student, contact your Indigenous Student Support Centre for information.

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Nursing and midwifery regulation at work: notification case studies

Tribunal orders registration cancellation of nurse who assaulted a patient

A tribunal has ordered the cancellation of a nurse’s registration following his conviction for aggravated assault of a patient in a psychiatric ward.

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 

Registered nurse disqualified from applying for registration for 3 years

A tribunal has cancelled a nurse’s registration and disqualified him from applying as a health practitioner for a period of 3 years after he engaged in harassment and intimidating behaviours and failed to comply with previously imposed drug screening conditions. 

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

Registered nurse who worked under the influence of alcohol reprimanded

A tribunal has ordered that a registered nurse be reprimanded and complete a program of education after it was found she had practised under the influence of alcohol.

Read more

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Read the National Scheme news

 

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.

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Page reviewed 27/11/2023