New RN standards for practice released

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia has unveiled revised registered nurse (RN) standards for practice that will replace the current national competency standards for the registered nurse.

The NMBA, which regulates Australia’s 370,303 enrolled nurses, registered nurses, and midwives, has advised that the new standards will take effect from 1 June.

They replace National competency standards for the registered nurse first published in 2006 by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC) and adopted by the NMBA at the start of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme in 2010.

The new standards were developed following extensive literature and evidence reviews, gap analysis, a survey of RNs, interviews with RNs, observations of RNs in practice, and consultation with consumers and other stakeholders including education providers.

The seven standards include:

  1. Thinks critically and analyses nursing practice
  2. Engages in therapeutic and professional relationships
  3. Maintains the capability for practice
  4. Comprehensively conducts assessments
  5. Develops a plan for nursing practice
  6. Provides safe, appropriate and responsive quality nursing practice
  7. Evaluates outcomes to inform nursing practice

The NMBA stresses each criteria is to be interpreted in the context of each RNs practice and that the criteria are not exhaustive and enable rather than limit the development of individual nurse scopes of practice.

ANMF Senior Professional Officer Julianne Bryce, a member of the project team charged with developing the standards, described the review as “an extensive and essential piece of work.”

“We had to develop standards for practice that reflect the contemporary role of the registered nurse in Australia. The new standards clearly articulate the standard of practice expected by all RNs,” said Ms Bryce.

Ms Bryce encouraged RNs to brush up on the new standards before they come into effect in June. “They’re an essential component of RNs regulated Professional Practice Framework, which also includes the NMBAs registration standards, codes, and guidelines.”

The revised RN standards were released together with similar updates for continuing professional development (CPD), recency of practice, professional indemnity insurance, and endorsement as a nurse practitioner.

Key changes in these areas involve the requirement for midwives with an endorsement for scheduled medicines to complete an additional 20 hours of CPD being dropped to 10 hours, and nurse practitioners being required to demonstrate recency of practice at the advances practice nursing level to retain endorsement.

For more information go to the NMBA website.

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