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May 2023


Message from the Chair

Celebrating our nurses and midwives! 

This month we’ve celebrated both the International Day of the Midwife and International Nurses Day and on behalf of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) I want to thank you all for the incredible work you do to provide outstanding care for the public. I’m incredibly proud to be a part of two of the most trusted professions in the world.  I also want to welcome Penelope Marshall and Theresa Best as the two newest members of the NMBA. You can learn more about them in our next issue. 

Finally, a reminder that registration renewal for nurses and midwives closes 31 May and I encourage you to renew now to skip any delays. 

Once again thank you for all that you do to support our communities. 

Best wishes,

Adjunct Professor Veronica Casey

Chair, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia

Veronica Casey   

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NMBA news

NMBA celebrates midwives on International Day of the Midwife

On 5 May 2023 we celebrated International Day of the Midwife and thanked our magnificent midwives for their dedication to improving health outcomes for women and families. 

NMBA Chair, Adjunct Professor Veronica Casey AM, spoke to the strength and compassion of the profession to deliver safe and effective woman-centered care. ‘As a midwife myself, I am continuously inspired by the amazing work of my colleagues. The dedication they have to their profession and the need to consistently improve the outcomes for women and families is remarkable.’  

'On behalf of the NMBA, I want to wish you a happy International Day of the Midwife and thank you for the hard-work and commitment you all bring to the profession’.

There are many examples of areas where midwives are leading the profession with foundational evidence to further improve the care of women and families. To celebrate this year’s theme, you can read about two midwives who are working to develop the profession further through applied research. 

Helen Nightingale

Woman smiling with name and quote written underneath

Completing PhD in area of gestational weight gain and midwifery practice; additional research/strong areas of interest in perinatal trauma, perinatal mental health, trauma informed maternity care.

Following professional and personal experiences with traumatic pregnancy, Helen had a strong desire to fill the knowledge gap that relates to perinatal trauma. In addition to completing a PhD, she has an active research profile examining topics relating to perinatal mental health. Helen has a keen focus on increasing knowledge and awareness of psychological trauma in maternity care, including exploring the experience of psychological trauma that is external to the labour and birth period. She is particularly interested in research and interventions that aim to enhance the experiences of people with trauma and/or post traumatic stress disorder in maternity care.

How do you see the midwifery professional evolving into the future?

Midwives are essential to maternal and infant health; most women and birthing families engage with midwives at some point in their journey. For this reason, we are well-placed to provide care and respond to individual and family needs. As a researcher with a keen interest in trauma, I feel we are on the cusp of a breaking wave in relation to the significance of perinatal psychological trauma. Trauma informed care principles should be implemented as standard - there are huge advantages for those who live with trauma, and no harm for staff or those who don't have trauma, only benefits. An important element of trauma informed care would see continuity of carer prioritised, and I really hope that the midwifery profession is recognised and supported to achieve this.

Fiona McLardie-Hore

Woman smiling with name and quote underneath

Models of maternity care - Continuity of midwife care for First Nations women and babies.

Fiona is the coordinator for the Baggarrook Yurrongi project, implementing culturally specific continuity of midwife care (caseload) for First Nations women and families in three major metropolitan maternity services in Melbourne. Whilst caseload midwifery is associated with substantially better perinatal health outcomes, few First Nations women receive this model of care. This research translation study was undertaken in conjunction with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation. The aim was to proactively offer all women having a First Nations baby caseload care with a midwife who had undertaken cultural training, supporting them to navigate, access and engage with the maternity care system. Uptake of the model was high (90%) with a 21 fold increase in First Nations families receiving this ‘gold standard’ maternity care (34 before, 700 after). The new models have been sustained in the three hospitals, with over 400 women having a First Nations baby receiving the culturally safe continuity of care model each year.

How do you see the midwifery professional evolving into the future?

We are working towards offering women and families a greater choice in how their care is provided and in particular greater access to continuity of midwife care.  Providing care to women and families based around a social model of health rather than a biomedical model ensures care is provided in the context of women’s lives, and individualising care according to women’s social and cultural needs provides a pathway to greater health equity. For midwives, continuity models offer increased flexibility in the way they work, helping to build partnerships with women and their families, strengthening midwives autonomy and providing greater job satisfaction. 

Thanking nurses this International Nurses Day

This International Nurses Day on 12 May we thanked nurse practitioners, registered nurses and enrolled nurses and acknowledged the progress of the profession over these past few years to overcome global health challenges.  


NMBA Chair Adjunct Professor Veronica Casey AM acknowledged the strength and ingenuity of nurses to overcome and learn from these obstacles and commemorated the day with all nurses. ‘Happy International Nurses Day from the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and thank you to nurses and nurses of the future for their commitment to the health and wellbeing of our public.’ 

'This day is a day to honor the incredible work of our front-line workers and shine a light on the bright future ahead for the profession’. It’s also a day where all nurses take time to reflect, celebrate and acknowledge their colleagues, so thank you for all that you do every day to support the communities we serve’. 

To celebrate the future generation of nurses we spoke to a number of nursing students to see what made them want to study nursing. Third year, Bachelor of Nursing student, Prabhjot Kaur spoke about why she wants to be a nurse, ‘I believe nursing and me are a perfect fit because it gives me an opportunity to really connect with people, I can celebrate with them when they get good news and console them during the hardest times of their lives. That human element and making small differences day by day and actually helping people is really connected to who I am, who I want to be and the nursing profession.’

Kate Simpson, Bachelor of Nursing student is proud to be undertaking one of the most trusted professions. ‘I’m proud of the hard work, long hours, care and love that nurses represent and I can’t wait to join the community.’  ‘I’m very much looking forward to my first day as a qualified nurse’, she said.

Advance copy of the Safety and quality guidelines for privately practising midwives published

Following a preliminary and public consultation, the NMBA has released the advance copy of the Safety and quality guidelines for privately practicing midwives (the guidelines). 

The review ensures that the guidelines remain contemporary and reflect the current safety and quality expectations for PPMs. The advance copy of the guidelines can be found on the NMBA website. The guidelines will come into effect 1 July 2023. 

Updates from recent NMBA meetings

The NMBA welcomed Penelope Marshall (practitioner member) and Theresa Best (community member) to the National Board this month. You can learn more about each of these members in our next newsletter. State and Territory board members also represented the NMBA and paid their respects at ANZAC Day events across Australia. 

Three women with a wreathThree women standing in front of a memorialWreath







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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Renewal is open

Nurses and midwives are now invited to renew their registration. Skip the stress and renew early. 

You should have received an email from Ahpra providing access to online renewal.

Remember to renew your registration by 31 May 2023, to avoid any delays or late fees.

Helpful tips for your renewal

When renewing all nurses and midwives must declare that they meet the NMBA’s registration standards including professional indemnity insurance, recency of practice and continuing professional development and criminal history. You will also be required to declare any impairments that may affect your practice. 

What is Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) and when do I need it?

Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) is required for any practising nurse or midwife. It protects both the public and the nurse of midwife if an issue arises. You are responsible for organising and providing proof of your PII upon registration. If you hold a non-practising registration, you are not required to continue your PII. 

Health impairments: what do I need to declare? 

You only need to declare an impairment – which means a condition which is likely to detrimentally affect your practice. Most health issues are not impairments. You do not need to declare well managed health conditions that do not affect your practice. For example, you don’t need to tell us about needing prescription glasses or taking time off work for a short-term illness or injury.

Support for nurses and midwives through renewal

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement and Support team

There is a new team to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives through the renewal process. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives can reach out to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement and Support team with any questions.

Your health matters

Nurse & Midwife Supportis a free and independent, 24/7 service run by nurses and midwives to support nurses and midwives.

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Students and graduates

Getting to know your Board - why do we renew each year? 

People place their trust in nurses and midwives and the NMBA exists to make sure that the standards and practice of these professions meets that trust.

Each year, every registered practitioner is required to renew their registration. This includes nurses, midwives, medical practitioners, paramedics, occupational therapists and more. Although some might consider it tedious, this process ensures nurses and midwives are still safe to practise. 

How can we know if you are safe to practise?

When you renew your registration, you’re asked to declare that you meet the following NMBA registration standards:

  • Criminal history 
  • Continuing professional development 
  • Recency of practice 
  • Professional indemnity insurance arrangements 

Note: If you have an endorsement you will need to meet the registration standards for that as well. 

We developed these standards as a baseline requirement that all nurses and midwives must meet to be able to practise safely. We also review these standards and guidelines at least every five years to ensure they remain fit-for-purpose. 

You will also need to declare if you have an impairment that may affect your ability to practise, or your criminal history has changed. 

To avoid the over regulation of your practice, we require that you meet these baseline standards to continue to work as a nurse or midwife. This is how we ensure you’re safe to practise. 

Why do I have to pay a fee? 

The NMBA relies on registration fees to regulate both the nursing and midwifery professions and meet our regulatory  responsibilities under the National Law. 
Nursing and midwifery regulation in Australia is funded solely by fees from nurses and midwives. There is no cross subsidisation in the National Scheme, meaning fees from nurses and midwives only fund nursing and midwifery regulation costs. 

The NMBA works in partnership with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) to keep the public safe. The work the NMBA does to contribute to safe practice includes:

  • development of evidence-based and practice-tested standards, codes and guidelines 
  • investigation and decisions on concerns raised about nursing and midwifery practice
  • annual registration to ensure only qualified, competent nurses and midwives can practise in Australia, and accreditation of approved programs of study that lead to registration and endorsement

Have your say - Student register survey 

The NMBA will be sending out a survey to nursing and midwifery students to help inform the format of the new student register. The register will provide useful information for students as well as a greater understanding about students’ current studies, clinical placement experiences and future work plans. This information will be used to plan for the nursing and midwifery workforce now and into the future. 

Keep an eye out for an invitation to participate in the coming weeks. 

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The whole population benefits when nurses and midwives can practise to their full scope

National Board member, nurse and midwife, David Carpenter reflects on his participation in the development of the National Rural and Remote Nursing Generalist Framework. 

Man sitting in airplane doorway

NMBA practitioner member David Carpenter has spent most of his career working as a nurse or midwife in rural and remote areas. 

‘I registered as a nurse in 1999 and worked in a number of ward-based acute care settings in Australia and the UK over the next few years, before moving into an emergency nursing role.  I then had the opportunity to do some remote area nursing and study midwifery.  A position with the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Alice Springs subsequently became available, and I've worked with the RFDS there for the past 12 years as a Flight Nurse (Midwife) and most recently as the Flight Nurse Manager.’  

‘Most of my practice has been in the regional or remote context, which has brought opportunities and experiences that would not otherwise have come my way.  I have valued the diversity of communities, and the opportunity to contribute as part of smaller, multidisciplinary teams to help make an immediate difference for critically unwell people in isolated places.  My current role is a blend of operational and strategic leadership.’ 

Recently, the Australian Government announced the release of the National Rural and Remote Nursing Generalist Framework to support RNs to work to their full ability in rural and remote healthcare settings. David represented the NMBA in the development and consultation of the framework. 

‘The population as a whole benefits when nurses and midwives can practise to their full scope.  The National Rural and Remote Nursing Generalist Framework can be used by current and aspiring rural and remote nurses to guide the development of their capability in this practice context, as well as by employers, educators, professional organisations and Government to enable nurses to practise to their full scope.  I hope people read it thoughtfully and consider how they can apply it themselves as well as share it more widely.’ 

David also reflected how collaborations to develop frameworks such as this are important in maintaining the trust and confidence of the nursing and midwifery professions. 

‘The consistently high level of trust placed in nurses and midwives by the public to provide safe and effective care reflects the unique combination of presence, capability and kindness that is intrinsic to our practice.  As part of the NMBA I value the opportunity to work collaboratively to help continue to justify that confidence in our professions.  Particularly important to me are ensuring that the standards which guide our practice are contemporary and relevant, and the continuing work with many other stakeholders to support and develop the current and future nursing and midwifery workforces, including First Nations practitioners.’ 

You can access the guidelines on the Australian Government website

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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