October 2019

Contents


Message from the Chair

The NMBA has released an advance copy of the new Decision-making framework – a very useful tool if you need to make a decision about scope of practice or delegation. I encourage you to get to know it.

I’d like to congratulate NMBA member Dr Chris Helms, who is this year’s Nurse Practitioner of the Year, awarded by the Australian College of Nurse Practitioners. Well done Chris!

The NMBA state and territory boards are seeking practitioner and community members – to get involved, please read more below.

Associate Professor Lynette Cusack, registered nurse and midwife
Chair, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia

Associate Professor Lynette Cusack RN

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Call for applications

The NMBA’s state and territory boards are delegated functions by the NMBA to make registration and notification decisions about nurses and midwives.

Applications are now sought from registered nurses, enrolled nurses, midwives and community members to fill multiple practitioner member, community member and chair vacancies arising in the following jurisdictions: 

  • New South Wales – 3 community members, 4 practitioner members 
  • Queensland – 1 community member, 3 practitioner members and chair 
  • Tasmania – 3 community members, 4 practitioner members and chair

To be eligible for appointment as a practitioner member, you must hold current registration as a nurse and/or midwife. It is expected that applicants practise and reside in the state in which they are applying for appointment. To be eligible for appointment as a community member, it is expected that applicants reside in the state in which they are applying for appointment.

The National Scheme has a commitment to increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ leadership and voices. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are strongly encouraged to apply, as are people from rural or regional areas in Australia.

More information about the roles, eligibility requirements and the application process can be found in the information documents and online application form available on the AHPRA website.

NMBA news

Have a question about scope of practice or delegation?

The NMBA has released an advance copy of the new Decision-making framework for nursing and midwifery (the DMF).

The DMF supports decision-making about nursing or midwifery practice and delegation of nursing or midwifery care. The new DMF will come into effect on 3 February 2020.

NMBA Chair, Associate Professor Lynette Cusack, said the DMF was a vital resource for consistent and safe decision-making in practice.

'The DMF is based on international evidence about best practice and has been widely consulted on with nurses and midwives across Australia,' Associate Professor Cusack said.

'It’s such an important resource, particularly for making decisions in clinical practice about delegation from registered nurses and midwives to enrolled nurses and other health workers. Using the DMF helps the professions to make safe, consistent decisions in complex practice environments.'

The NMBA has also released advance copies of decision-making framework summaries for the professions of nursing and midwifery. These one-page summaries guide nurses and midwives step-by-step through making a safe decision in practice.

To view the DMF and summaries, visit the NMBA website.

Last chance to have your say in consultations on guidelines

Two consultations on guidelines for the professions are closing soon.

Mandatory notifications

The revised Guidelines for mandatory notifications aim to help practitioners, employers and education providers understand whether to make a mandatory notification about a registered health practitioner. The changes to mandatory notifications guidelines also include changes that are a result of legislation passed by the Queensland Parliament earlier this year.

To have your say on the guidelines please visit the Consultation section of the NMBA’s website. The consultation closes on 6 November 2019.

Exposure-prone procedures and blood-borne viruses

The NMBA, in partnership with the Dental, Medical, Paramedicine and Podiatry Boards of Australia, is consulting on Guidelines for registered health practitioners and students in relation to blood-borne viruses.

The draft guidelines are intended to support practitioners in these professions to comply with the Communicable Diseases Network Australia Australian national guidelines for the management of healthcare workers living with blood borne viruses and healthcare workers who perform exposure prone procedures at risk of exposure to blood borne viruses.

To have your say, please visit the Consultation section of the NMBA’s website by close of business on 1 November 2019.

Updates from the August 2019 meeting

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 of the NMBA website.

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Nursing and midwifery regulation at work: notification case studies

The NMBA publishes summaries of tribunal decisions about nurses and midwives, as professional learning case studies for nurses and midwives. All information in these summaries has been made publicly available by the relevant tribunal before the NMBA publishes its summary.

Tribunal bans nurse from aged care for five years

A tribunal has disqualified a nurse from reapplying for registration or working in aged care for five years after she overinvolved herself in an elderly patient’s affairs and benefited from his will.

For more information, please see the news item.

Suspended nurse found working in aged care facilities pleads guilty to 66 charges

A South Australian disqualified nurse has pleaded guilty to charges that she falsely claimed to be registered while suspended.

For more information, please see the news item.

Tribunal disqualifies former nurse for six years for professional misconduct

A tribunal has disqualified a former nurse from applying for registration for six years for knowingly possessing child pornography (now called child abuse material).

For more information, please see the news item.

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National Scheme news

Tackling the fear of notifications – practitioners’ perspectives

Earlier this year, AHPRA launched a series of videos to support the public and registered health practitioners as they go through the notification process.

The video series, called ‘Let’s talk about it’, explains what happens when concerns are raised with the regulator, gives easy-to-follow information about the notifications process and addresses common questions, so consumers and health practitioners know what to expect when they interact with AHPRA and National Boards.

The series is part of work to minimise the adverse impact of the notifications process on practitioners and notifiers. Over the last few months two new videos were added. These provide a first-hand account of the notification process from a practitioner’s perspective: 

The other videos in the series are: 

The videos sit alongside other written resources available on the website, including information about understanding the notifications experience. See: www.ahpra.gov.au/Notifications.

You can view the videos on the AHPRA and National Board websites or on our YouTube and Vimeo channel, and join the conversation by following AHPRA on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, use the hashtag #letstalkaboutit and tag @AHPRA.

Fake practitioners face jail and hefty fines under new regulatory powers

From 1 July this year, the law got tougher on people who pretend to be a registered health practitioner.

The penalties for anyone prosecuted by AHPRA under the National Law for these offences now include bigger fines and the prospect of prison time.

Australia’s health ministers wanted to address the serious risk to the public posed by anyone who pretends to be a registered health practitioner, so they increased the sanctions offenders face.

AHPRA has a strong track record of taking action on individuals pretending to be a registered health practitioner when they are not. Since 2014, AHPRA has successfully prosecuted more than 50 cases where people were falsely claiming to be registered practitioners.

These include people pretending to be medical practitioners, pharmacists, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists and dentists.

Fake practitioners betray the trust that patients place in them. Under the changes to the law, offenders face the possibility of a maximum term of three years’ imprisonment per offence. They also face an increase in the maximum fines from $30,000 to $60,000 per offence for an individual and from $60,000 to $120,000 per offence for a corporate entity.

Everyone can check the online register of practitioners to make sure they are seeing a registered practitioner who is qualified and meets national standards.

Summary of the new laws

  • The amendments were passed in February 2019 by the Queensland Parliament under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 (Qld) (the Act).
  • The new offence provisions will apply in all states and territories, except Western Australia.
  • The amendments apply to people pretending to be a registered health practitioner. Under the National Law, anyone who calls themselves any of the ‘protected titles’, such as ‘dentist’, ‘podiatrist’, ‘medical practitioner’ or ‘psychologist’, must be registered with the relevant National Board. It is an offence to use one of the protected titles, and it is also an offence to knowingly or recklessly claim to be a registered practitioner when you’re not or use symbols or language that may lead a reasonable person to believe that an individual is a registered health practitioner or is qualified to practise in a health profession. These offences are known as ‘holding out’.
  • The amendments to offence provisions do not apply to advertising offences under the National Law.

Read more in the media release.

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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 30/10/2019