Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia - May 2017
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May 2017


Message from the Chair

On two days in May we stop and celebrate the contribution that nurses and midwives make to their communities, across Australia and around the world. The International Day of the Midwife was held on 5 May and International Nurses Day on 12 May.

On behalf of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA), I’d like to say thank you to each of you for the work you do in providing care to the community.

On 25 April, a number of state, territory and National Board members attended Anzac Day ceremonies to remember the nurses and midwives who served their countries abroad and at home. You can read more about the day in this newsletter.

Thanks to everyone who has renewed their registration – please remember that renewal applications are due by 31 May. Late applications received in June will need to pay a late application fee. You can read more about renewal below.

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

Associate Professor Lynette Cusack RN

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NMBA news

Updates from the April 2017 NMBA meeting

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

At their April meeting, NMBA members reviewed the revised English language skills registration standard policy. The revised policy provides further rationale and evidence for the policy position of the NMBA, and the purpose of the policy has also been made clearer. The revised policy will be published on the NMBA website shortly. 

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

Anzac Day 2017

This Anzac Day members of the NMBA commemorated Australia’s servicemen and servicewomen, and the nurses and midwives who served at home and abroad.

Members from the state and territory boards, including Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia, participated in local Anzac Day ceremonies.

Among those who attended services were members of the ACT board of the NMBA, who participated in the Anzac Day Wreath Laying at the Australian Service Nurses National Memorial in Canberra to remember those who served. The ACT board provided an extract from the service:

‘We stand today before the nurses’ memorial with the inscription BEYOND ALL PRAISE.
Let us pause to remember and honour the devotion of these nurses.
We honour the sacrifices made, suffering endured and lives given for the truths by which we live.
Today we honour all those nurses, women and men who serve and have served this nation.
Lest we forget.’

Members of ACT NMBA on Anzac Day at Australian Service Nurses National Memorial in Canberra
(Left to right) Chris Helms, NMBA member, Eileen Jerga, Alison Chandra, Tina Calisto, Emma Baldock (Chair) and Carmel McQuellin, ACT NMBA members, and Mary Kirk, at the Australian Service Nurses National Memorial in Canberra.

Days of recognition for midwives and nurses

In May, the NMBA acknowledged the International Day of the Midwife and International Nurses Day and thanked the midwives and nurses of Australia for their contribution to safe healthcare.

The International Day of the Midwife is held on 5 May each year and this year’s theme for the day was ‘Midwives, mothers and families: Partners for life!’

‘Midwives form strong, supportive partnerships with individuals, but also with families and the wider community,’ NMBA Chair, Associate Professor Lynette Cusack said.

‘Those partnerships are the foundation of safe, respectful care that brings new lives into the world. On behalf of the NMBA, I’d like to thank the 32,817 midwives who offer our communities these vital services.’

International Nurses Day is celebrated on 12 May each year to mark the birthday of Florence Nightingale, and this year’s theme was ‘Nurses: A voice to lead, achieving the sustainable development goals.’

‘Australia’s 375,528 registered and enrolled nurses make a huge contribution to the health of their communities,’ Associate Professor Cusack said.

‘Nurses work across many different areas of practice, leading their communities’ health in policy, hospital and community settings and aged care, just to name a few. On behalf of the NMBA, I’d like to thank our nurses for their work here and around the world.’

Associate Professor Cusack said that the NMBA continues to improve its support for nurses and midwives to practise safely.

‘This year has seen the launch of Nurse & Midwife Support – the first national health support program specifically for nurses and midwives.

Nurse & Midwife Support offers confidential, independent advice and referral on health issues to the nursing and midwifery professions. It’s a great service, which helps our nurses to care for themselves so they can continue caring for others.’

Nurse & Midwife Support is an independent service which can be reached 24 hours a day on 1800 667 877.

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

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.

Responsible advertising of health services: nurses and midwives reminded about their legal obligations

Nurses and midwives are reminded to check, correct and comply with their professional and legal advertising obligations.

The National Boards, including the NMBA, and AHPRA have published a strategy for the National Scheme to help keep health service consumers safe from misleading advertising.

When preparing advertising, you should always ensure that your advertising is not false, misleading or deceptive in any way. You are encouraged to use the resources available on AHPRA’s website to check and, if necessary, correct your advertising to ensure you comply with National Law requirements.

Under the National Law, a regulated health service or a business providing a regulated health service must not advertise in a way that:

  • is false, misleading or deceptive
  • uses gifts, discounts or inducements without explaining the terms and conditions of the offer
  • uses a testimonial or a purported testimonial
  • creates an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment, and/or
  • directly or indirectly encourages the indiscriminate or unnecessary use of regulated health services.

More information, including the strategy and examples of unacceptable statements in advertising, is available on the Advertising resources section of the AHPRA website.

AHPRA’s regulatory role means it may need to take action for non-compliant advertising. If you are unsure about whether or not your advertising complies with the National Law you should seek advice from your:

  • professional association
  • insurer, and/or
  • an independent legal adviser.

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Nursing and midwifery regulation at work: notification case studies

Enrolled nurse suspended for eight months for professional misconduct

The State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia (the tribunal) has reprimanded an enrolled nurse and suspended his registration for eight months for professional misconduct arising from his manual handling of elderly patients.

Mr John Gibson practised as an enrolled nurse in the Older Adult Mental Health Service Ward at Osborne Park Hospital, Perth. In early March 2015, Mr Gibson used unnecessary and inappropriate force with respect to three elderly dementia patients, and deliberately subjected one of the patients to pain.

On 30 March 2015, the NMBA took immediate action by suspending Mr Gibson’s registration. At the date of finalisation of the tribunal proceedings, Mr Gibson had not practised as a nurse for a period of two years.

On 10 April 2017, the tribunal ordered that Mr Gibson be reprimanded, suspended for eight months and have conditions imposed on his registration. These conditions include requiring him to undertake further education and to engage with a mentor in relation to safe manual handling of patients. Mr Gisbon was also ordered to pay $1,800 in costs.

For more information please read the news item.

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 27/11/2023