Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia - November 2013
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November 2013

Issue 7 - November 2013

Presiding Member’s message

This year we reduced the application fee for final-year students from $160 to $20. Find out more on the application fee reduction in this issue.

We also went into public consultation on a range of matters including:

  • re-entry to practice – our proposed pathways widen options for formerly registered nurses and midwives seeking to return to their respective profession after a period of absence
  • international criminal history checks – part of an all-National Boards consultation, and 
  • English language and criminal history registration standards – also part of an all-Boards consultation.

Details of these consultations are published in this newsletter.

Our 2012/13 annual report is now published – find out more in this issue.

Project news

In October, we went to tender for qualified and experienced parties to review the registered nurse standards for practice (currently known as competency standards) and, separately, the models of supervision for privately practising midwives. We look forward to making progress on these projects once submissions are reviewed.

Regional regulatory taskforce

As a member of the South Pacific Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officers Alliance (SPCNMOA), the National Board made progress this year by participating in a new regional Regulatory Taskforce. The Regulatory Taskforce provides the opportunity to explore possible work relating to regional regulatory frameworks; look at country legislations and regulations and understand gaps and barriers in regulation that affect nursing and midwifery services; and explore safety, economic and regulatory issues of unregulated health workers in the South Pacific region.

Board appointment

Pending the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council) decision on a new health practitioner member for Queensland and a new National Board Chair, the National Board is pleased to confirm an interim appointment. With effect from 20 September 2013, we appointed Ms Mary Kirk as the Deputy Presiding Member. Ms Kirk is the health practitioner member from the Australian Capital Territory.

This temporary appointment remains in place until the Ministerial Council determines a new National Board Chair.

Wishing you a joyous festive season

This is our last newsletter for the year and I take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank our inaugural Chair, Ms Anne Copeland, for her contribution. Ms Copeland finished her term of office on 31 August 2013.

I acknowledge the Chairs and members of the state and territory boards of the NMBA for their dedication and their input to the National Board’s role in decisions about registration and endorsement, as well as to notifications in health, performance and/or conduct as it relates to individual nurses, midwives and students.

I thank all our stakeholders, including the government, community, professional associations, education providers, employers, nurses and midwives for their important contribution to our projects, initiatives and accomplishments during the year 2013.

Thank you especially to all nurses and midwives who wrote to us with feedback on our newsletters this year. We are happy to hear from you.

On behalf of the National Board, I wish you and your families all the best and a prosperous New Year.

Dr Lynette Cusack, Presiding Member. 
Dr Lynette Cusack, Presiding Member

Dr Lynette Cusack RN
Presiding Member, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia

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2012/13 National Scheme annual report

The 2012/13 annual report of the National Scheme is now published.

Our report details the work of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and AHPRA in implementing the National Scheme over the 12 months to 30 June 2013.

The report covers outcomes and achievements, including registration standards, guidelines and policies developed or published, in the previous financial year, as well as our priorities for 2013/14.

Our major outcomes and achievements in 2012/13

  • The National Board strategic plan 2013–15 that sets priorities for the coming year, incorporating work towards establishing and improving the requirements of nursing and midwifery regulation within the National Scheme. 
  • Collaboration with international partners, including the signing of a memorandum of understanding to further enhance a collaborative relationship between the National Board and the Nursing Council of New Zealand. 
  • Review of accreditation function, where we appointed ANMAC as the accreditation authority for nursing and midwifery for a further period of five years until 30 June 2018.

The report reveals that 345,955 enrolled nurses, registered nurses and midwives were registered at the end of June 2013, an increase of four per cent since national registration data was first published in June 2011.

Find out more in the media release on our annual report.

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National Board member wins Australian Institute of Management Award

Congratulations to National Board member, Angela Brannelly, who was named Professional Manager of the Year - Public Sector for the Northern Territory in October 2013. The Australian Institute of Management (AIM) excellence awards were presented at a Northern Territory gala dinner on Saturday 12 October 2013.

AIM excellence awards focus on recognising individuals in the workplace whose vision, skill and integrity stand out from the rest and inspire others to succeed.

Ms Brannelly - health practitioner member, Northern Territory - took one of five coveted annual awards, namely:

  • Professional Manager of the Year - Public Sector
  • Professional Manager of the Year - Private Sector
  • Not For Profit Manager of the Year
  • Owner Manager of the Year, and
  • Young Manager of the Year.

Ms Brannelly's winning category recognises executives of public sector enterprises who have worked for their organisation in a professional management capacity for at least 12 months. It targets ordinarily people who do extraordinary things for their organisations on a day-to-day basis.

In her thank you speech, Ms Brannelly said, 'I am honoured to receive this award. I didn’t expect to win and being nominated by my staff means that I have already won...

 AIM excellence awards photo L-R: The Honourable Peter Donald Styles MLA and Ms Angela Brannelly.
AIM excellence awards photo L-R: The Honourable Peter Donald Styles MLA and Ms Angela Brannelly



'This award isn’t just about me; it’s recognition of the great team of people that I am privileged to work with every day. So thank you to my staff for nominating me.'

Ms Brannelly was grateful that she had discovered great mentors and role models along the way.

As a health practitioner member of the National Board, Ms Brannelly is in her second term of appointment. She is also a member of the Finance and Governance Committee of the National Board and Chair of the Northern Territory Board of the NMBA

Read more on the AIM award nomination criteria from categories on the AIM website.

You can also find out about the awards process from the AIM website.



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Nursing and midwifery

Fee reduction for final-year students applying for registration

The National Board has reduced the application fee for final-year students applying for registration as an enrolled nurse, a registered nurse or a midwife to $20.

This lower application fee from $160 to $20 took effect from 16 October 2013.

Any graduating student of a Board-approved program of study that leads to registration as a nurse or a midwife (excluding a bridging program for an internationally qualified nurse or midwife) who has applied for registration between 1 July and 16 October 2013 will receive an automatic refund of $140.

The reduced application fee for students is to support new entrants to the nursing and midwifery professions and recognise the burden of the initial period of registration for the majority of graduates.

More on this is available in a media release on the fee reduction on our website.

Audit of nurses and midwives

The National Board and AHPRA are developing a national approach to auditing nurses’ and midwives’ compliance with mandatory registration standards.

A pilot audit that included checking compliance against the recency of practice and continuing professional development registration standards for nursing and midwifery were designed to determine the frequency, size and type of audits required and to establish our ongoing audit methodology.

Each time a nurse or midwife applies to renew their registration they must make a declaration that they have met the registration standards for their respective profession.

These annual audits are an important means for the National Board and AHPRA to better protect the public by regularly checking that a random sample of nurses and midwives are meeting the requirements of the registration standards. They help to make sure that nurses and midwives are complying with the registration standards they are required to meet and give important assurance to the community and the National Board.

Auditing of all the health professions within the National Scheme has started - refer to the National Board audit page for more information.

If you are selected for audit, you will be:

  • notified in writing, and 
  • requested to provide evidence that you meet the requirements of the registration standards.

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Re-entry to practice: public consultation

We are inviting feedback on a proposed re-entry to practice framework that includes:

  • draft Re-entry to practice policy 
  • draft Principles for assessing applicants for re-entry to practice 
  • draft Re-entry to practice self-assessment tool 
  • draft Re-entry to practice - Fact sheet, and 
  • draft Supervision guidelines for nursing and midwifery.

The National Board is also proposing to introduce a pathway for provisional registration for former enrolled nurses, registered nurses and midwives in Australia seeking to undertake a Board-approved re-entry to practice pathway.

This consultation closes at 4pm on Monday 9 December 2013.

The re-entry to practice pathways covered in the consultation aim to widen options for formerly registered enrolled nurses, registered nurses and midwives looking to return to the professions after an absence. They also encourage workforce flexibility while ensuring public safety and competent practice.

The public consultation is published under Current consultations on our website.

See the related media release.

Common registration standards: public consultation

Registration standards, codes and guidelines are due for review at least every three years.

The National Board is participating in a National Boards review of common, or largely common, registration standards which are the English language skills registration standard and the Criminal history registration standard.

The National Board’s English language registration standard is not due for review until September 2014. However, by participating in this all-Boards review, the NMBA is looking to take advantage of new evidence that may arise, and consider modifications to its English language skills registration standard. This will allow extra flexibility without compromising the protective purpose of the standard, consistent with best available evidence and the outcomes of the all-Boards review.

This consultation closes on 23 December 2013.

To make a submission, visit Current consultations on our website.

International criminal history checks: public consultation

We recently went into further public consultation on international criminal history checks as part of an all-Boards consultation.

Section 79 of the National Law requires that the National Boards consider criminal history from jurisdictions outside Australia before registering a health practitioner.

To balance the requirements for protecting the public with the need for responsive and timely assessment processes, the National Boards and AHPRA are looking at options to refine the mechanisms for international criminal history checks.

The public consultation addressed various issues raised in a prior consultation that ran from June to August 2012, and encouraged a reasonable balance between risk and comprehensive checks without holding up the registration process.

This consultation closed on 31 October 2013. It is now published under Past consultations on our website and will soon include submissions received.

Profession specific registration standards: preliminary consultation

We are going into preliminary consultation on the following revised registration standards:

  • Continuing professional development for nurses 
  • Continuing professional development for midwives 
  • Recency of practice 
  • Professional indemnity insurance arrangements, and 
  • Guidelines on continuing professional development.

Clause 38 of the National Law requires the National Board to develop, and recommend for approval by the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council, registration standards about continuing professional development, recency of practice and professional indemnity insurance arrangements.

Current registration standards are available on the National Board website.

Preliminary consultation is to a small, targeted stakeholder group before public consultation, and it helps to road test the proposed content to help identify any operational impacts, issues or concerns prior to the document’s release for public consultation.

Following analysis of the preliminary consultation feedback, a public consultation will be published under Current consultations on our website.

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Supplementary news


National Board holds midwifery workshop in Melbourne

We hosted a midwifery workshop in Melbourne on 9 September 2013.

Attended by midwifery stakeholders from clinical practice, policy, workforce, education, professional and industrial bodies, the aim of the workshop was to improve and foster understanding of midwifery issues between the National Board, midwives and stakeholders.

Also present were members of the National Board and state and territory boards of the NMBA.

Topics included:

  • midwifery accreditation and education 
  • midwifery practice, and 
  • workforce.

We are currently analysing feedback received during the workshop and this will help inform the National Board’s future strategic planning processes in relation to the regulation of midwives.

The National Board acknowledges the significant contribution of all participants at this important workshop.

Nursing and midwifery

Nurse practitioner standards for practice (2014)

The National Board has published Nurse practitioner standards for practice 2014 that will take effect on 1 January 2014. Publishing the standards alongside the existing competency standards, currently known as the National competency standards for the nurse practitioner, is intended to:

  • allow a gradual transition to implementing these new standards for practice, and 
  • give nurse practitioners, education providers and assessors of standards for nurse practitioners time to become familiar with the new standards during the transition.

The new standards for practice are available under Competency standards on the National Board website.

The standards for practice are the minimum applicable across diverse practice settings and patients or clients for both the beginner and experienced nurse practitioners.

We recommend reading the Nurse practitioner standards for practice in conjunction with related publications under Codes and guidelines to include:

Find out more in a media release on the new standards for practice.

National Board participation in WHO South Pacific Regulatory Taskforce

The National Board is participating as a member in a new regional regulatory taskforce established in August 2013 for the South Pacific Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officers Alliance (SPCNMOA).

SPCNMOA’s mission is to strengthen nursing and midwifery capacity through country ownership and leadership. It takes into account matters including sustainable workforce, quality improvement and accreditation of nursing and midwifery programs of study.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Development provides the secretariat for SPCNMOA and operates out of the University of Sydney.

The aim of the Regulatory Taskforce is to:

  • explore possible work relating to regional regulatory frameworks 
  • look at own country legislations and regulations and understanding gaps or barriers in regulation that affect nursing and midwifery services 
  • explore safety, economic and regulatory issues of unregulated health workers, and 
  • work to define quality of care in the context of South Pacific in order to promote the improved health of Pacific nations.

By participating in the Regulatory Taskforce, the National Board is looking forward to engaging in regional development opportunities in nursing and midwifery regulation.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC), Nursing Council of New Zealand and the Midwifery Council of New Zealand are also participating members of the Regulatory Taskforce.

Focus on policy, projects and initiatives

The National Board releases a Communiqué each month on its website to inform everyone of the decisions made at the monthly meeting of the National Board. You can also read media releases and past issues of this newsletter on our website.

Between September 2013 and November 2013, we released the following communications:

November 2013

October 2013

  • Graduate registration - web updates at Graduate applications on the AHPRA website, as well as media releases on the National Board website.

September 2013

  • Quarterly registration data including information on types of registration held, principal place of practice, endorsements, registrant age and gender.

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Page reviewed 27/11/2023