Fact sheet: Registration renewal for nurses and midwives

Response to COVID-19  

The NMBA and Ahpra are working with government, health services and others to support the registered health workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Your registration fees go directly to regulating for safety in nursing and midwifery and keeping the public safe. Our regulatory work is entirely funded by registrant fees and we receive no government funding for this work.

Visit the Ahpra website for the latest COVID-19 updates or the NMBA website for COVID-19 guidance for nurses and midwives.

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) undertakes functions as set by the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law). The NMBA regulates the practice of nursing and midwifery in Australia, and one of its key roles is to protect the public. The NMBA does this by developing standards, codes and guidelines for nurses and midwives in which they are required to practice.

Nurses and midwives with general or non-practicsing registration must renew their registration with the NMBA by 31 May each year.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) manages the registration and renewal process on behalf of the NMBA. Look out for a reminder to renew from Ahpra, confirming that online renewal is open. You will get email reminders several times during the renewal period, so make sure your contact details are up to date. Be sure to check the national register to confirm your registration details.

You are required to provide your residential address when renewing your registration. This information is not shown on the national register.

Ahpra, on behalf of the NMBA, needs your residential address to help in processing criminal history checks and so that Ahpra is able to contact you, particularly if you are randomly selected for audit.

A series of email reminders will also be sent throughout the renewal campaign. Ahpra needs to be able to contact you by post if an email reminder is undelivered.

Yes, you need to renew by 31 May.

Registration is renewed annually by 31 May regardless of how long you were registered during the previous 12 months.

If you are a graduate who registered within two months prior to the 31 May annual renewal date you are registered to practise until 31 May of the following year. Check the national register if you are not sure when your registration is due for renewal.

If this is your first-time renewing, please read the First-time renewing section of the NMBA website for important information such as pro-rata CPD hours.

You only need to declare an impairment – which means a condition which is likely to detrimentally affect your practice. Most health issues are not impairments.

You do not need to declare well managed health conditions that do not affect your practice. For example, you don’t need to tell us about needing prescription glasses or taking time off work for a short-term illness or injury.

As a nurse and/or midwife in Australia, you must meet the following registration standards when renewing your general registration: criminal history, professional indemnity insurance (PII), recency of practice and continuing professional development (CPD).

The NMBA expects you to declare on your registration renewal form that you have met the requirements set out in the registration standards, as they apply to the nursing and midwifery professions.

The NMBA is aware that there are many CPD activities that are COVID-safe options and many CPD programs and providers have now adapted their programs to be COVID-safe. We encourage you to continue to do CPD that is relevant to your scope of practice and your current work environment. Nurses and midwives are reminded that the following learning opportunities may also contribute to CPD hours:

  • COVID-19 in-services
  • Reading and reflecting on COVID-19 journal articles
  • COVID-19 infection control training - online training modules (including Australian Government Department of Health)

We understand that some nurses and midwives may still have trouble meeting the CPD requirements due to the pandemic. You should answer all renewal questions honestly and accurately. The NMBA will not take action if a nurse or midwife declares that they could not meet their required CPD hours for the 2020-21 registration period.

However, CPD evidence may be requested for nurses and/or midwives who declare that they are unable to meet the Registration standard: Recency of practice.

The Board and Ahpra made a payment plan available for practitioners experiencing genuine financial hardship. Applications for the payment plan closed at midnight on Monday 14 June 2021.

My application for the payment plan was accepted. How do I pay the second instalment?

We will contact you directly to let you know how to pay the outstanding amount. Please ensure you keep your email address up to date using the online practitioner services.

When you renew your general registration, you are asked to declare if you have met the PII arrangements registration standard in the previous registration period and will do so for this registration period.

You are not required to hold PII when you are not practising. If you have had periods of not holding PII when you were not practising, you can still meet the standard. Remember, practice means any role, whether remunerated or not, in which the individual uses their skills and knowledge as a health practitioner in their profession.

For more information on meeting the standard, see the PII arrangements fact sheet.

Practising your profession overseas can be counted towards your recency of practice, but is not considered CPD.

No. As a person holding registration as both a nurse and a midwife, you are required to make separate recency of practice declarations for each profession at the time of registration renewal. This is to ensure competence in both professions within the preceding five years.

If you are seeking to renew your registration as a nurse and/or midwife, you must be able to demonstrate that you meet the registration standards and standards of practice/competency standards required for both a nurse and a midwife.

If you are applying to renew dual registration, carefully consider what evidence you are able to provide to meet the relevant registration standards and standards for practice/competency standards for each profession.

There may be common elements of work and education applicable to nursing and midwifery that you can submit as evidence when applying for dual registration.

When you renew your registration, you’ll be asked to declare any changes to your criminal history and provide us with the details. You do not need to declare something that you have already told Ahpra about. 

You should declare any:

  • charge against you for an offence
  • conviction you have received
  • guilty plea you have entered, or
  • time a court has found you guilty, whether or not you were convicted.

Making an accurate criminal history declaration and providing us with details of any change will speed up your registration renewal process. The Board won’t usually need to take any action for low-level offences. 

If you are declaring a low-level offence, you will only have to give details of the offence in the text box provided. If it’s more serious, you may need to attach further information including a statutory declaration – instructions on how to do this will be provided when you renew. 

What about things like speeding fines? 

If an infringement carries a possible sentence of 12 months imprisonment or more, you need to tell us about it. This will depend on which state or territory you’re in. 

If you’re sure that the infringement doesn’t carry that level of possible sentence, you don’t need to declare it. 

If you’re unsure (and haven’t told us about it before), it’s better to declare it and make sure you provide us with the details.   

You must tell us if:

  • you’re in Western Australia and have been convicted for unpaid parking fines
  • you’re in Queensland and pleaded guilty to an offence charge and the outcome was guilty without conviction, or 
  • you’re in Tasmania and you’ve received a speeding or parking fine. 

Remember, giving us all the details of the change to your criminal history at the time you renew will help us speed up your renewal.

From 2021, when you renew your registration you’ll be asked a question about whether you perform exposure-prone procedures (EPPs) and, if so, about complying with the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) relevant guidelines (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).

The renewal application form will include relevant definitions, information and links to resources to help you answer accurately.

More information, including guidance on which procedures are classified as EPPs, is available on the Commonwealth Department of Health website. You can also view the NMBA’s Guidelines: Registered health practitioners and students in relation to blood-borne viruses on the NMBA website.

When you renew, you are asked to declare if your right to practise at a hospital or another facility at which health services are provided has been withdrawn or restricted because your conduct, professional performance or health poses a risk to public health or safety. 

This question only applies to a small number of nurses and midwives, who are given ‘rights’ to work at hospitals or other facilities, such as private practice nurse practitioners or midwives who have admitting rights.

This question does not require you to declare if your employment has been terminated, suspended or you are being performance managed.

Only nurses and midwives in private practice whose right to practise has been withdrawn or restricted, based on their conduct, professional performance or health, need to declare this information.

Page reviewed 9/04/2021