The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) sets the national standards, codes and guidelines that nurses and midwives must meet for registration in Australia. These standards, codes and guidelines provide nurses, midwives, employers and the public with information about the minimum standards required to practise as a nurse or midwife in Australia. The NMBA has initiated a process for the review, development, consultation and approval of all nursing and midwifery standards, codes and guidelines and this review is part of that structured process.
The Code of conduct for nurses in Australia and the Code of conduct for midwives in Australia (the Codes) set out the legal requirements, professional behaviour and conduct expectations for nurses and midwives in all practice settings, in Australia. The Codes describe the principles of professional behaviour that guide safe practice, and clearly outline the conduct expected of nurses and midwives by their colleagues and the broader community.
The Codes are used:
1As defined in the National Law, with the exception of NSW where the definitions of unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct are defined in the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW)
The Codes are research-based using relevant literature and evidence to provide the direction and platform for content, structure and language. In addition to the under-pinning research, the NMBA has worked and consulted extensively with the professions and stakeholders in the development of the Codes. The NMBA has:
The Codes are structured into four domains and framed around seven principles of conduct, each with an explanatory value statement. Practical guidance accompanies each value statement to demonstrate how to apply it in practice.
The Codes seven principles of conduct:
Underpinning the Codes is the expectation that nurses and midwives will exercise their professional judgement to deliver the best possible outcomes in practice.
The style adopted is a more directive language for stipulations about conduct and boundaries and uses a more balanced mix of positive and negative statements. The use of ‘must not’ is used where it is necessary to provide clear practical application of the Code.
The NMBA values your input to the review of the Codes and seeks your participation in this consultation. You can participate by completing the online survey by close of business on 10 March 2017.