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Regulation of nurses and midwives in NSW

In 2008 the Council of Australian Governments signed an agreement to establish a national registration scheme for health professionals. The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law was adopted by the states and territories to ensure uniform processes and criteria exist for registering health practitioners and accrediting educational programs. In adopting the national law, NSW made some amendments in order to retain a co-regulatory model that it had developed over a period of many years. Under this model the Nursing and Midwifery Council of New South Wales (Council) manages the notifications/complaints process in consultation with the Health Care Complaints Commission which retains primary responsibility for investigation. This means that in NSW, which is co-regulatory jurisdiction, P8 of the National Law (NSW), which deals with notifications and complaints in relation to health, performance and conduct of health professionals is different from that of other states and territories.

Registration of health professionals in NSW occurs in the same manner as in other states and territories. The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, with the assistance of the NSW State Nursing and Midwifery Board, registers suitably qualified persons as nurses and midwives. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority provides administrative assistance to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and to the state board in the exercise of their registration functions.

Although the Council manages notifications against nurses and midwives in NSW, notifications and complaints in NSW may be made to either the Council, the Health Care Complaints Commission or the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (through AHPRA).

Regardless of the organisation which receives the notification or complaint, the matter will be referred to the Council and will be managed in consultation with the Health Care Complaints Commission.