National Registration – What does it All Mean??!
As of 1st July 2010, the old system of state and territory based Nursing Registration has been abolished.
The Council of Australian Governments has now implemented a single national registration and accreditation system for health professionals in Australia. This system is known as the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) for Health Professionals.
National registration will mean that nurses and midwives will only need to hold one licence to practise in order to work as a nurse or midwife in any State or Territory of Australia.
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
The newly established National Nursing and Midwifery Board are responsible for:
- Registering nursing and midwifery practitioners and students
- Developing standards, codes and guidelines for the nursing and midwifery profession
- Handling notifications, complaints, investigations and disciplinary hearings
- Assessing overseas trained practitioners who wish to practise in Australia
- Approving accreditation standards and accredited courses of study.
State and Territory Boards
State and Territory Boards have also been set up to support the National Board in the new registration and accreditation system. Roles are categorised as follows:
- The National Board is responsible for setting policies and professional standards
- The State and Territory Boards will make individual notification and registration decisions affecting individual nurses and midwives.
What does this mean for Current Nurses?
According to information from the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, if you were registered with a State or Territory registration board as at 30 June 2010 you will have automatically transitioned to the new national registration and accreditation scheme.
This registration is now recognised in all the States and Territories of Australia that have enacted the National Law.
Depending on which state you live in, your registration may expire in less that 12mths to bring you in line with a new registration cycle. See this page for information specific to your State or Territory.
New obligations for Nurses and Midwives
The Nursing Fact Sheet outlines new obligations under the national scheme. A brief summary of some of the main obligations are as follows:
Continuing professional development (CPD)
All nurses and midwives who are engaged in any form of nursing or midwifery practice will be required to complete continuing professional development (CPD) that is relevant to their context of practice. This includes undertaking learning activities that will maintain and enhance knowledge and skills pertaining to their area of practice.
The CPD requires that Registered Nurses are required to participate in at least 20 hours of CPD per year.
Recency of practice
Nurses and Midwives must have undertaken sufficient practice within the preceding five years to demonstrate competence in their profession. Practice is defined as any role, whether remunerated or not, in which the individual uses their skill and knowledge as a nurse or midwife.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
Registered nurses and midwives must not practice their professions unless they are covered in the conduct of their practice by appropriate professional indemnity insurance arrangements.
The Board has new powers to check the criminal history of registered nurses and midwives before deciding on an application for renewal of registration, or at any time during the registration period.
What’s Happened to the ANMC?
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC) was formerly responsible for developing and maintaining Nursing position statements, guidelines and competency standards in Australia.
With the introduction of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, the role of the ANMC has now changed, and the ANMC has now been appointed as an independent accreditation body for Nursing and Midwifery.
According to the ANMC, they are currently restructuring their organisation following this new appointment under the NRAS scheme, and it’s main function will be in setting standards for accreditation, and in assessing and accrediting Nursing and Midwifery courses and providers.
The ANMC is an authorised assessor for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, meaning they will also be responsible for undertaking skills assessments for international nurses and midwives who are seeking to migrate to Australia.
How do I find more info?
Background info and links can be found on the Royal College of Nursing website.
There is a fair amount of information available on the Nursing and Midwifery Board website, including:
- Registration Standards
- Registration Transition
- Registration Renewal
- FAQ and Fact Sheets
- Nurse Fees, Midwife Fees
- Codes & Guidelines
National Registration – What do you guys think? Good thing? Bad thing? I guess time will tell…..