Recency of practice: Jodi's story

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Guest post by Jodi.

At the bottom of this post, you will find links to previous Nurse Uncut posts on this issue, plus links to information about refresher courses, scholarships and the new NSWNMA professional indemnity insurance.

Between 2008 and 2010 I was off work having two of my three kids. I went back to work when bub #2 was three months old, working the casual pool on the occasional Saturday when my husband could watch the kids. So it was not regular work, nor frequent.

I then fell pregnant with bub #3, was advised not to work while pregnant due to some placenta issues, so wasn’t able to work during this time. Bub is now four months old and due to the recency of practice regulations, I find myself having to work at this time as I do not want to let my registration lapse. I didn’t want to haveto go back to work while the kids are so young, but realistically, I have to. I don’t want to lose my registration and thus waste my university degree.

So as a result of having to make up these hours, I’m having to put my young baby into childcare. We’ve had to hire a nanny as childcare places are so hard to find and the waiting lists are enormous and have put the older two in preschool so I have the time to work my hours. We’ve also had to buy new carseats for my husband’s car so we can juggle the pick-up and drop-off, so not only are we up for childcare fees and nanny wages, we’ve had to spend more money on carseats, etc.

In fairness, I don’t think the three months equivalent standard over five years is unreasonable. But the fact we were given no warning of this regulation being brought into action is unfair, as if I’d known about it, I’d have made sure I had done the hours over the last five years. Why couldn’t AHPRA begin the five-year period from when they took over from NSWNRB? By bringing in this regulation retrospectively, they have penalised a lot of nurses who’ve taken time out to have children.

I really feel it’s unfair on working mothers who’ve taken time out to raise their family, as in my case, I haven’t been out of the workforce completely over the past 5 years, I just haven’t done three months fulltime equivalent.

Updated info:

  • The pressure that was brought to bear by the NSWNMA on this issue earlier in 2012 resulted in the NSW Ministry of Health offering re-entry scholarships to nurses. Apparently not all the scholarships were taken up, ie. places are still available.
  • Membership of the NSWNMA now automatically gives you professional indemnity insurance, which is necessary if doing supervised practice during refresher courses.
  • There is now an online re-entry program available: Institute of Health and Nursing Australia http://www.ihna.edu.au

Previous Nurse Uncut blog posts on this issue:

Recency of practice: Alice’s story

National registration for nurses

Frustration over new national registration

Unnecessary hurdles for nurses wanting to return to work

Unnecessary hurdles part 2

Return to nursing? Not at $10,000

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