Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia - September 2018
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September 2018


Message from the Chair

This month is your last chance to have your say on the proposed registered nurse (RN) prescribing endorsement, review the consultation documents and complete our short survey today.

The NMBA has also been alerted this month to some misinformation on social media about cultural safety requirements in the codes of conduct. Culturally safe and respectful practice is not a new concept. Nurses and midwives are expected to engage with all people as individuals in a culturally safe and respectful way, foster open, honest and compassionate professional relationships, and adhere to their obligations about privacy and confidentiality. Cultural safety does not mean apologising for white privilege, and this is not a requirement in any NMBA standard, code or guideline.

To find out more about cultural safety and why it is vital to closing the gap in Indigenous health outcomes, please view our joint statement, now signed by 30 leading nursing and midwifery organisations.

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

Associate Professor Lynette Cusack RN

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Call for applications

There is a vacancy on the Australian Capital Territory Board of the NMBA for a practitioner member (current nurse and/or midwife). Enrolled nurses are strongly encouraged to apply. More information about this role is available online.

There is a vacancy on the Victorian Board of the NMBA for a community member. More information about this role is available online.

NMBA news

Have your say on registered nurse prescribing

Don’t miss your chance to have your say on a proposed endorsement for RNs to prescribe scheduled medicines in a prescribing partnership model.

You are invited to review the draft proposed Registration standard: Endorsement for scheduled medicines for registered nurses prescribing in partnership and give your feedback via an online survey.

To have your say, please visit the current consultations section of our website to read the consultation documents and then take our survey. The consultation closes on 28 September 2018.

Nurses restoring sight in Ethiopia

The NMBA would like to congratulate the members of our professions who were recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours list, including Julie Tyers. Julie was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for her services to nursing and to international eye-health programs for her charity’s work in Ethiopia.

While visiting Africa, Julie – who has over 35 years experience as an ophthalmic nurse in Melbourne – was astonished at how many people were blind from cataracts.

In 2007 Julie decided to make a difference and established a not-for-profit, non-denominational, non-government organisation to help overcome the issues of widespread preventable blindness in Ethiopia, Eyes for Africa Charitable Foundation (EFA).

Since 2007, Julie has led volunteers to Ethiopia to deliver free cataract surgery to men, women and children, who would otherwise have no chance of regaining their sight.

Volunteers, including ophthalmologists, anaesthetists, orthoptists, optometrists, nurses and support people, all self-fund their own airfares, food and accommodation during each trip.

‘I am honoured and humbled to have received this award and want to thank the Eyes For Africa team, as well as the many volunteers and supporters who have worked with me over the years, for making the work of EFA possible,’ Julie said.

‘In the past 11 years, EFA has been able to carry out sight-restoring cataract removal for more than 3000 people. I plan to continue this work for as many years as I am able.’

To view the full list of recipients of the Queen’s Birthday honours, visit the Governor General’s website. To find out more about Eyes for Africa, visit the website.

Eyes for Africa patients in EthiopiaJulie Tyers with a happy patient in Ginir









Image (left): Eyes for Africa patients.

Image (right): Julie Tyers with a happy patient in Ginir, Ethiopia.

Updates from the July 2018 NMBA meeting

From 1 August, the NMBA, with the other National Boards, will have the discretionary power under the National Law to inform people who raise a concern about a health practitioner of the reasons for its decision about the concern. The National Boards and AHPRA have developed a common protocol for informing people who raise a concern of the reasons for their decisions.

In addition, after another change to the National Law, the National Boards will be publishing guidelines for practitioners to inform their Board about where they practise.

To see the July 2018 decisions on approved programs of study leading to registration and endorsement, please view the communiqué:

Joint statement on cultural safety signed by 30 organisations

Australia’s leading nursing and midwifery organisations have signed a joint statement on cultural safety, highlighting the work that nurses and midwives are doing to close the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ health outcomes.

The joint statement Cultural safety: Nurses and midwives leading the way for safer healthcare outlines why the principles of cultural safety are included in the NMBA’s codes of conduct and has been signed by 30 organisations.

NMBA Chair Associate Professor Lynette Cusack said that it was important that nurses and midwives understood the real requirements of the codes of conduct.

‘There has been misinformation circulated on social media about nurses and midwives needing to ‘apologise’ before they treat an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person – this is absolutely not true.

‘Nurses and midwives understand the importance of working in a partnership with the people in their care – and challenging any discrimination or bias in care. These are the principles outlined in the codes, to uphold the values of our professions and contribute to closing the gap.’

For more information you can read the joint statement or view the codes of conduct.

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Update on the current rural and isolated practice RN endorsement

Since we opened consultation on the proposed endorsement for RN prescribing, we’ve had a few enquiries about the existing Endorsement for scheduled medicines for registered nurses (rural and isolated practice).

The drugs and poisons legislation in Victoria and Queensland only use the endorsement for RNs to supply under protocol. The NMBA has been consulting with these states to develop an alternative approach to authorise rural and isolated practice RNs to supply under protocol/policy.

The NMBA has agreed with these two states that we will not discontinue the endorsement to supply until an appropriate alternative approach is in place, in order to prevent any impact on health service delivery.

For more information, please view the NMBA fact sheet.

2018/19 fee schedule released 

Nursing and midwifery regulation in Australia is funded solely by fees from nurses and midwives and the NMBA receives no government funding.

The fees for 2018-19 have been released and can be viewed on the NMBA website.

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National Scheme news

Release of the consultation paper on proposed legislative updates to national registration

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) welcomes the release of a consultation paper by the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC) on keeping the national legislation on the registration and accreditation of health practitioners across Australia up to date.

The consultation paper, Regulation of Australia’s health professions: keeping the National Law up to date and fit for purpose, outlines important potential changes to the National Law.1

AHPRA CEO, Martin Fletcher, said the paper contains a series of proposals that will change the way that Australia’s 700,000-plus registered health practitioners and over 150,000 registered students are regulated by their National Board if implemented.

‘The National Law is the cornerstone of how we regulate registered health practitioners in Australia and we welcome the opportunity for the public and practitioners to have their say’, said Mr Fletcher.

‘We’re particularly pleased to see the proposal for recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the guiding principles of the National Law’, said Mr Fletcher. ‘This is proposal reflects our recent shared commitment with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health leaders to help achieve equity in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and other Australians by 2031.’

‘It’s important that the proposals in the consultation paper are considered fully in terms of whether they help to ensure the public continue to have access to high quality and safe health services from registered health practitioners, while maintaining fairness for practitioners.’

National Boards and AHPRA will be looking at the paper carefully and providing considered responses on the proposals and we encourage others to provide considered feedback via the submissions process by the closing date on 31 October 2018.

1 The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory.

Advertising update  ̶  selectively editing reviews or testimonials may break the law

AHPRA has issued more guidance for advertisers to make it clearer that selectively editing reviews is not acceptable.
Under the National Law, testimonials about clinical care are not permitted, but reviews about non-clinical aspects of care are allowed.

In a recent case, an advertiser removed all negative comments from patients’ reviews. This selective editing changed the meaning of the reviews and had the potential to mislead the public. AHPRA’s new guidance makes it clear this is not acceptable and outlines the rules about editing or moderating reviews. It is misleading to:

  • edit a review that is negative to make it positive, as this falsely presents the feedback 
  • edit a review that has a mix of negative and positive comments so that the published review only has positive comments, as this falsely implies that the reviewer only had positive feedback, or 
  • edit a review so that it no longer accurately reflects all the reviewer’s feedback and presents an inaccurate or false impression of the reviewer’s views.

Reviews influence consumers healthcare choices so advertisers must make sure reviews are genuine and not misleading.

The way advertisers moderate and publish reviews must comply with the National Law and the Australian Consumer Law.

The updated testimonial tool is available in the Advertising resources section on the AHPRA website.

For more information, access the Advertising resources on the AHPRA website.

AHPRA designated a WHO Collaborating Centre for health workforce regulation across the Western Pacific

AHPRA’s commitment to best practice and learning from others has received a boost, with an official designation from the World Health Organization (WHO) as a Collaborating Centre for health workforce regulation. This designation means that AHPRA, in partnership with National Boards, will work with WHO and its Member States in the Western Pacific to strengthen regulatory practice across the region. Crucial to the work of the Collaborating Centre is establishing a network of regulators across South East Asia and the Western Pacific. The network is expected to work on improving regulatory standards.

The designation as a Collaboration Centre is timely, with the Australian Government Department of Health and WHO recently beginning a four-year Cooperation Strategy. Strengthening regulation in health services, health workforce, radiation, food safety and health products is an identified priority for the joint work in this Cooperation Strategy. You can access the Cooperation Strategy on WHO’s information-sharing site. Queries about AHPRA’s work as a Collaboration Centre can be directed to [email protected].

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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 8/07/2024