Retirement of the Registration standard: Endorsement for scheduled medicines for registered nurses (rural and isolated practice)
All Australian states and territories can now regulate the safe use of medicines by rural and isolated practice registered nurses (RNs) through local medicines and poisons legislation, policies and protocols. Therefore, there is no longer a need for additional regulation by the NMBA, and the Registration standard: Endorsement for scheduled medicines for registered nurses (rural and isolated practice) (RIP endorsement) will be retired in 2022.
Victoria and Queensland, the two states that still required RNs to hold the RIP endorsement, have now finalised alternative regulatory mechanisms for RNs to obtain, supply and administer certain scheduled medicines in rural and isolated practice settings without the RIP endorsement. These changes ensure that the current model of care enabled by the RIP endorsement can continue without the need for regulation by the NMBA. The day-to-day practice of previously RIP endorsed RNs has not changed.
In September 2021, Queensland established a new medicines and poisons regulatory framework that enables rural and isolated practice RNs to continue to obtain, supply and administer certain medicines via an extended practice authority. Under the new framework, the day to day practice of Queensland RNs who hold the RIP endorsement remains unchanged. For further information, please see Queensland Health’s website.
In February 2022, Victoria finalised changes to its drugs and poisons regulatory scheme. A new legal mechanism called a secretary approval, now enables scheduled medicines practice including conditions of practice such as, experience, qualifications, location, type of medicines and clinical circumstances.
Under Victoria’s new drugs and poisons regulatory scheme, the current practice of rural and isolated practice RNs remains unchanged. For further information, please see the Victorian Department of Health’s website.
Renewing your RIP endorsement
To support a smooth transition, the NMBA has provided the option for RNs who currently hold the RIP endorsement to renew for the 2022 renewal period. However, since the RIP endorsement is no longer a requirement, RNs who do not renew their RIP endorsement during the registration renewal period will still be able to continue their medicines practice in rural and isolated practice settings and their day-to-day practice will not change.
The following additional document has been developed to supplement the Registration standard: Endorsement for scheduled medicines for registered nurses (rural and isolated practice) by providing further information to nurses regarding the NMBA's expectations and requirements.