As we move into a new year Nurses begin to turn their focus towards May and give consideration to their renewal of their license to practice in Australia.

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia has Registration standards which define the requirements that applicants, registrants or students need to meet to be registered. These  core registration standards include:

  • Criminal history registration standard
  • English language skills registration standard
  • Registration standard: continuing professional development
  • Registration Standard: Recency of practice
  • Registration standard: Professional indemnity insurance arrangements

Nurses on occasion still appear uncertain when it comes to the term recency of practice! The following is some key information for your interest.

Registration standard: Recency of Practice

As a Nurse and/or Midwife in Australia, you must meet the following registration standards when renewing your registration every year:  A component of the standards is the Registration Standard –  Recency of Practice.

What does Recency really mean in this context?

Recency of practice means that a Nurse or Midwife has maintained an adequate connection with, and recent practice in the profession/s since qualifying for or obtaining registration.’

What does Practice really mean in this context?

‘Practice means any role, whether remunerated or not, in which the individual uses their skills and knowledge as a health practitioner in their profession.

Clinical Practice is where the nurse/ midwife is ‘directly involved in providing direct clinical care or providing oversight of direct clinical care of patients, or is directly involved in clinical education of either pre-registration or post-registration students, including bridging programs.’

Remember: ‘Practice in this context is not restricted to the provision of direct clinical care.’

Non-clinical Practice is where the nurse /midwife ‘is not directly involved in providing direct clinical care or providing oversight of direct care of patients or is not directly involved in clinical education of either preregistration or post-registration students, including bridging programs

It also includes using professional knowledge (working) in a direct nonclinical relationship with clients, working in management, administration, education, research, advisory, regulatory or policy development roles, and any other roles that impact on the safe, effective delivery of services in the profession’.

Evidence Required should you be Audited:

  • Evidence that you have practised for a period equivalent to a minimum of 450 hours, within the past five years. This applies for both clinical and non-clinical practice roles for nurses and midwives. The hours do not need to be continuous and can be accumulated over the past five years.
  • Evidence Examples: a service statement from your employer, pay slips income statement for the year, and other documents showing the hours and dates that you worked.
  • If you are a Nurse and a Midwife you will need to ‘provide evidence showing that you have completed the equivalent hours in both nursing and midwifery over the past 5 years -demonstrate that you have practised for the equivalent of 450 hours in nursing and the equivalent of 450 hours in midwifery, over the past five years.’ Remember some evidence may be able to included for both i.e. if you care for a mother who has a C section and her baby
  • If you have an endorsement you will need to ‘maintain recency of practice relevant to the endorsement that you hold and declare annually that you have practised for the equivalent of 450 hours relevant to your endorsement over the past five years’.

We have created a good info sheet that you can download which identifies key reminders regarding the recency of practice standard!

Download it and pop it up in your workplace as a reminder!
Click here to download

The Nurses for Nurses Network provides great information and CPD  on an array of nursing topics including professional practice and CPD registration requirements in a range of easy learning ways including webinars and quizzes on the latest information that Nurses need to know – remember the Nurses for Nurses Network was created by Australian Nurses for Nurses!