Nursing in Australia
Registration and Regulation
Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is the organisation responsible for the implementation of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme across Australia.
AHPRA's operations are governed by the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009, which came into effect on 1 July 2010. This law means that in Australia, 10 health professions are nationally registered by a single agency and regulated by nationally consistent legislation.
AHPRA is responsible for the registration of all health practitioners and students and supports the 10 National Health Practitioner Boards that are responsible for regulating the 10 health professions named by this legislation. Investigations into the professional conduct, performance or health of registered health practitioners is managed by AHPRA on behalf of the Boards; except in NSW where this is undertaken by the Health Professional Councils Authority and the Health Care Complaints Commission.
For more information about the role and responsibilities of AHPRA and to access the register of health practitioners visit their website
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
The primary role of the Boards is to protect the public and they set standards and policies that all registered health practitioners must meet.
The functions of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) include:
- 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 practice in Australia
- Approving accreditation standards and accredited courses of study.
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia has established State and Territory Boards to support the work of the National Board in the national scheme. The National Board will set policy and professional standards, and the State and Territory Boards will continue to make individual notification and registration decisions affecting individual nurses and midwives.
For more information about the role and responsibility of the NMBA visit their website.
Other government resources
The Federal, State and Territory governments provide information for nurses via sites managed by their Departments of Health. These websites promote nursing and provide local information about nursing in the State or Territory. They also provide links to the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officers in each jurisdiction. The websites and the titles of these advisors are listed below.
National - Department of Health and Aging
Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer
Victoria - Department of Health
Office of the Chief Nursing Advisor
New South Wales - NSW Governement Health
Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Advisor
South Australia - SA Health
Office of the Chief Nurse - Nursing and Midwifery Office
Western Australia - Department of Health
Office of the Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer
Queensland - Queensland Health
Office of the Chief Nursing Officer
Tasmania - Department of Health and Human Services
Office of the Chief Nursing Officer, Nursing and Midwifery Executive
Australian Capital Territory - Department of Health
Office of the Chief Nurse, Nursing and Midwifery Office
Northern Territory - Department of Health
Principle Nursing and Midwifery Advisor
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) is the independent accrediting authority for nursing and midwifery under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme. It sets standards for accreditation and accredits nursing and midwifery courses and providers.
The ANMAC is also an authorised assessing authority for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and undertakes skills assessments of internationally qualified nurses and midwives seeking permanent migration in Australia.
ANMAC was previously known as the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Council (ANMC). However, from 1 July 2010 the mandate for ANMC changed significantly and the existing name did not adequately reflect the changed role of the organisation. The name, ANMC is clearly linked in the mind of the nursing and midwifery professions to professional registration, professional codes, standards and competency issues which are now the business of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). However, the various professional standards and codes developed by the ANMC can still be accessed from the ANMAC site.
Wages and Conditions
The wages and conditions for nurses in Australia are determined by various Awards and Agreements. Generally speaking, awards of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission provide the legal minimum for wages and working conditions. In addition to this, nurses in the public health sector and in private hospitals are normally covered by an industrial agreement which provide additional wages and working conditions. While there is some degree of consistency, wages and conditions can vary depending on the relevant State/Territory and the specific area of nursing.
For information about salaries and conditions of employment visit the website of the Australian Nursing Federation branch in the State or Territory.