In order to practise in Australia and under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme, all nurses and midwives must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA), and meet the NMBA's registration standards.
Your general or non-practising registration should be renewed by 31 May annually and can be completed online. Watch the NMBA’s short video here and find out more about renewing your registration. More about the process you can expect during registration can be found here.
If you are unsure of your registration type or when it expires, check your details at the online register of practitioners. If you hold provisional registration, your renewal date is different and you are not able to renew online as extra information is required.
AHPRA and the NMBA send out email renewal reminders about eight weeks before your registration expires, so it is important to keep your contact details up to date. You can also change your contact details using Online Services for practitioners at any time.
Why do I need to register?
If you do not renew your registration by 31 May, or within the one month late period, your name will be removed from the national register and your registration will lapse in accordance with the Health Practitioner National Law. If your general registration lapses you are not able to practice as a nurse or as a midwife.
Registered practitioners are expected to practice within the standards identified in the professional practice framework approved by the NMBA. These standards include;
- Registration standards
- Code of conduct
- Standards for practice
- Code of ethics
Registration assures the public and health service organisations that the standards have been and will be upheld.
The register describes when registered practitioners have been endorsed for more advanced practice or have limitations on their practice to maintain safety. It is updated daily if endorsements, conditions and undertakings, notations, a reprimand or suspension are added or removed from a practitioner’s registration.
So what are the requirements for registration?
The Registration Standards define the requirements that applicants, practitioners or students need to meet in order to be registered. Furthermore, applicants for nursing and/or midwifery registration must meet a range of mandatory registration standards to become eligible for registration.
With the exception of registered students and non-practising registrants, these standards apply to applicants for registration and currently registered nurses and midwives. The standards include;
- Criminal history registration standard
- English language skills standard
- Registration standard: Continuing Professional development
- Registration standard: Recency of practice
- Registration standard: Professional indemnity insurance arrangement
Signing the declaration
When making an application for registration, nurses and midwifes must make declarations which are subject to audit. You must also confirm there have been no changes to your health or good standing since your last declaration which would affect your safe and effective practice.
Renewing registration is confirming that you have met or will meet the standards of practice for the nursing and/or midwifery professions during the period of registration.
Not only does this include the registration standards, but also the professional standards.
The professional standards define the practice and behaviour of nurses and midwifes and include;
- Codes of conduct,
- Standards for practice, and
- Codes of ethics.
Please note that the code of conduct and code of ethics both changed earlier this year. Please visit to view the codes and also check out our article about the code of conduct here
So what do the mandatory registration standards include and what do I need to know?
- Criminal history
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) must check an applicant’s criminal history during the registration process to ensure only those practitioners who are suitable and safe to practise are granted registration in Australia.
When a practitioner first applies for registration, the NMBA requires the applicant to declare their criminal history in all countries, including Australia. All registered health practitioners must inform the NMBA if they are:
- charged with an offence punishable by 12 months imprisonment or more, or
- convicted or found guilty of an offence punishable by imprisonment in Australia and/or overseas.
When practitioners renew their registration they must disclose any changes to their criminal history.
View the Criminal history standard here.
- English Language Skills
This registration standard applies to all nurses and midwives applying for initial registration, regardless of whether they qualified in Australia or overseas.
All applicants must be able to demonstrate that their English language skills will enable them to safely practise as health practitioners at initial registration.
View the English language skills standard here.
- Professional indemnity insurance arrangements
Under the National Law, nurses and midwives must not practise the profession in which they are registered unless they hold appropriate professional indemnity insurance (PII) arrangements in relation to their practice.
Initial registration and annual renewal of registration requires a declaration that the health practitioner will not practice unless they have appropriate PII arrangements.
Professional indemnity insurance (PII) arrangements means arrangements that secure for the nurse and/or midwife’s professional practice, insurance against civil liability incurred by, or loss arising from, a claim that is made as a result of a negligent act, error or omission in the conduct of the nurse and/or midwife.
View the professional indemnity insurance arrangements standard here.
- Continuing professional development
Continuing professional development (CPD) is how registered health practitioners maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge, expertise and competence, and develop the personal and professional qualities required throughout their professional lives.
Registered health practitioners (with the exception of practitioners who hold non -practicing registration) are required to participate regularly in CPD that is relevant to their scope of practice in order to maintain, develop, update and enhance their knowledge, skills and performance to help them deliver appropriate and safe care.
Check the continuing professional standard here and discover more about what exactly is required.
- Recency of practice
Recency of practice means that a nurse or midwife has maintained an adequate connection with, and recent practice in nursing and/or midwifery since qualifying for, or obtaining registration.
Practice means any role, whether remunerated or not, in which the individual uses their skills and knowledge as a health practitioner in their profession. Practice in this context is not restricted to the provision of direct clinical care. It also includes using professional knowledge (working) in a direct non-clinical 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.
Check the recency of practice standard here.
What happens if I make a false declaration?
The NMBA may refuse registration if a statement made by a health practitioner in the applicant’s annual statement is false or misleading: or
It may constitute behaviour for which health, performance or conduct action may be taken under the law.