Standards for practice for registered nurses in Australia

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Cashin, A, Heartfield, M, Bryce, J, Devey, L, Buckley, T, Cox, D, Kerdo, E, Kelly, J, Thoms, D & Fisher, M 2017, 'Standards for practice for registered nurses in Australia', Collegian, vol. 24, issue 3, pp. 255-266.

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This article describes the development of the inaugural Australian registered nurse standards for practice, incorporating the first review since 2006 of the National competency standards for the registered nurse (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2006), for the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). In this multistage study, mixed methods were used by the research team to review literature, conduct a gap analysis of current registered nurse practice against the existing competency standards and consult widely. A large number, close to 10,000, stakeholders both internal and external to the profession were engaged in the redesign of the standards through interviews, two online structured response surveys, and two rounds of work-based observation of registered nurse practice.

The revised standards were endorsed by the NMBA in November 2015. These new standards foreground the ethical and relational nature of nursing and the significance of translating evidence into practice for quality outcomes. The resultant standards are similar in appearance and focus to other such standards that are in place internationally. Difference is evident in seven interconnected standards that outline registered nurse capabilities while allowing for progress in both the nature and context of practice. These standards extend for the first time to communicate the standard of practice for all registered nurses in Australia.

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