COVID-19 Updates and Guidelines
The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association is providing support and advice to any members seeking information regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Members are encouraged to login to Member Central via the main website online.nswnma.asn.au and access Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 related issues. If your issues can’t be found in Member Central, please contact us here.
Ensure you’re covered at work by joining the NSWNMA.
If members are concerned their employer is not following COVID-19 guidelines, the NSWNMA can provide assistance to ensure appropriate measures are in place.
On 13 May, the NSW Greens successfully amended emergency legislation that will extend workers compensation to cover COVID-19 exposure for essential workers.
This means all nurses and midwives in NSW will not have to prove the source of a COVID-19 infection when making a workers’ compensation claim.
Under the changes, if you catch COVID-19, the infection will be deemed to have happened during the course of your employment.
These changes also cover casual workers if they worked any shifts in the weeks prior to falling ill.
On 7 April, the NSW Government announced an allocation of $58 million to provide frontline healthcare workers with free accommodation. This will provide doctors, nurses, paramedics and other hospital and ambulance staff with the option of staying in out-of-home accommodation during the pandemic. Local health districts will work with staff to make sure accommodation is close to work or their families, depending on individual needs.
Pandemic response sub-register
The Medical Board of Australia, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and the Pharmacy Board of Australia are establishing a short-term pandemic response sub-register for the next 12 months to assist with fast tracking the return to the workforce of experienced and qualified health practitioners.
This sub-register enables medical practitioners, nurses, midwives and pharmacists who previously held general or specialist registration and who left the Register of practitioners or moved to non-practising registration in the past three years to return to practice.
It will operate on an opt-out basis with practitioners added automatically. There is no obligation for anyone added to the sub-register to practise or remain on it.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) has announced it will not take action if a nurse or midwife declares that they could not meet their required CPD hours for the 2019-20 registration period. Read more here.
The NMBA is encouraging nurses and midwives to continue to do CPD that is relevant to their scope of practice and current work environment. However, understand that some nurses and midwives may have trouble meeting the CPD requirements during this challenging time. You should answer all renewal questions honestly and accurately.
Nurses and midwives are reminded the following learning opportunities may also contribute to CPD hours:
- COVID-19 in-services
- reading and reflecting on COVID-19 journal articles, and
- COVID-19 infection control training – online training modules.
Please note, CPD evidence may be requested for nurses and/or midwives who declare they are unable to meet the Registration standard: Recency of practice.
Online COVID-19 Training
ICU and high dependency
On 2 April, the Australian Government announced it will fund up to 20,000 new online education places to enable Registered Nurses (RNs) to develop knowledge enabling them to assist in the delivery of care in intensive care and high dependency units across Australia.
RNs interested in undertaking the training should visit the website here or contact Medcast by phone on 1300 652 046.
Refresher course for RNs
The Australian Government has also funded an online refresher course to allow RNs who are not currently in clinical practice to update their knowledge to re-join the health workforce. Click here for further information.
Additional training for COVID-19
The Department of Health has developed a free 30-minute online education course for workers in the aged care, health and disability sectors
After completing the course, course participants should be able to:
- understand the basics about the COVID-19 virus, including how it is spread
- describe what you can do to protect yourself and others
- know what to do if you develop symptoms
- know what to do if the person you are caring for develops symptoms
- tell the difference between myths and facts of COVID-19.
Register to participate in the training here.
The NSWNMA will continue to provide further updates for members as we receive them. Make sure you login to NSWNMA Member Central to see our members only FAQs here: online.nswnma.asn.au.
Information for health workers is available below and updated regularly as the situation progresses.