Concurrent registration as Registered Nurse/Enrolled Nurse

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The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) had planned to phase out concurrent registration as registered and enrolled nurse in 2014 (see Are you both an EN and RN? in Nurse Uncut October Oct 2013) but in November last year the Board decided to recognise concurrent registration for nurses with relevant dual qualifications.

Do you hold concurrent registration? How has this worked for you in practise? What challenges do you face and how do you deal with them?

Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind if you’re in that situation.

A nurse holding concurrent registration should be mindful of the registration type under which they are employed – on each and every shift. This particularly applies for a nurse registered as both an RN and EN but who is employed as an EN. In this situation, the nurse needs to ensure they are working within the EN scope of practice and within their employment framework for an Enrolled Nurse, including organisational policies and procedures.

Nurses must be able to differentiate between the relevant responsibilities and scope of practice for an RN or an EN. They should be able to articulate the differences to other health professionals, colleagues and those to whom they provide care.

Employers must also clearly define the role the nurse is working in and colleagues must understand that role.

All parties must support the nurse to remain within the relevant responsibilities and scope of practice for the role they are undertaking – on each and every shift.

Be familiar with the standards for practice and scope of practice for both an RN and an EN.

To minimise any potential situation that may put the concurrent registrant at risk, it is vital that nurses with concurrent registration fully understand the standards for practice and the scope of practice for both an RN and an EN.

Nurses holding concurrent registration must also meet the registration standards for both RN and EN. This is particularly relevant to the NMBA’s Recency of Practice standard and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) standard, when registration is renewed each year.

In order to meet and maintain the Recency of Practice standard, nurses concurrently registered must complete at least three months of full-time equivalent practice in the past five years as both an RN and an EN.

To meet CPD requirements, nurses holding concurrent registration must complete a minimum of 20 hours of CPD relevant to each registration (that is, a total of 40 hours). The NMBA recognises that some CPD activities might be relevant to both an RN and an EN and can be counted for each.

The ANMF recommends members with concurrent registration become familiar with the Enrolled nurse standards for practice (commenced 1 January 2016) and the Registered nurse standards for practice (effective 1 June 2016), particularly those standards that vary between the RN and EN.

Concurrent registrants should have a sound working knowledge of the NMBA’s Decision Making Framework, which provides guidance for making practice decisions as either an RN or an EN.

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