NMBA new regulations
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) has updated its standards to clarify the responsibilities of enrolled nurses (EN), registered nurses (RN), and nurse practitioners (NP) working in aesthetic medicine. The position statement (published on January 4th, 2022) explains the NMBA’s position on nurses working with medical practitioners to provide cosmetic or surgical procedures, focusing on minor (non-surgical) cosmetic medical procedures.
At CPD Institute, we deliver our courses according to the best practice guidelines and frameworks. Whether you’re a nurse currently working in cosmetics or you’re planning on entering the industry, the following article summarises the NMBA standard updates and how they affect you.
The update includes the following:
- NMBA general statements – for nurses working in the discipline of (non-surgical) cosmetic procedures: the expectations of cosmetically trained nurses, their connection to the NMBA, and relevant guidance documents.
- Cosmetic injections – the role of nurses in prescribing and administering injectables.
- Cosmetic medical procedures – the expectations of RNs and ENs in providing or assisting in minor non-surgical procedures. Clarifying responsibilities of ENs depending on whether they currently work in cosmetics or plan to in the future.
- Expectations of RNs – for those who wish to work in cosmetics but have an exclusive qualification to work only in mental, paediatric, or disability nursing.
What is the role of NMBA?
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) is responsible for regulating best practice guidelines and frameworks to inform the safe practice of nursing and midwifery in Australia. The ultimate goal of the NMBA is to protect the public by developing standards that nurses and midwives must adhere to.
How does the update affect nurses in the cosmetic medical profession
For the most part, the NMBA standards remain unchanged, but – depending on your qualifications and the type of cosmetic procedures you are performing or assisting in – some updates may affect you.
Under the updated standards, NPs can prescribe Schedule 4 cosmetic injections/medicines, whereas RNs and ENs cannot. They can only prescribe medicines during in-person or video consultations with the patient who is receiving the cosmetic injection. Prescribing medications via phone or email is not acceptable. For NPs to prescribe medications, they must be supported by their education, skills and knowledge. For example, they must have completed a cosmetic training course for nurses.
According to the updated standards, RNs can administer cosmetic injections. However, the consultation must include a detailed assessment and care plan, requiring in-depth anatomical and physiological knowledge. RNs must follow best practice and clinical guidelines to ensure safe and appropriate administration of medications/injectables. RNs must comply with state and territory legislation for supplying and possessing medication. There must be a consultation and assessment with the person receiving cosmetic injectables, and a medical practitioner or NP must be present.
Cosmetic medical procedures
While enrolled nurses’ training does not prepare them for the risk and complexities of cosmetic medical procedures (including the administration of cosmetic injections), they can still work in the industry with strict guidelines.
ENs already working in cosmetic nursing
- Must have direct supervision from an RN for at least 75 hours while administering cosmetic injectables, or until competence is achieved.
- Can’t administer injectables to high-risk areas (e.g. forehead, nose, or glabella area).
- Must continue professional development and skills training through cosmetic courses for nurses.
ENs planning on working in cosmetic nursing
On top of the above requirements, ENs intending to work in cosmetic medicine must complete the following:
- One-year study after initial registration to consolidate the foundational skills and knowledge of being an EN.
- Two years’ experience in a related area of practice (e.g. dermatology or general surgery) before working in cosmetic medical procedures.
- Formal education in the relevant practice areas of cosmetic medical procedures.
Any RNs working in or planning to work in cosmetic medicine must ensure that they have the required education, skills, and experience to practise safely. RNs are unlikely to be endorsed as NPs while working solely in cosmetic medical procedures. The NMBA considers the practice of performing or assisting in cosmetic medical procedures, such as cosmetic injectables, as below the advanced practice level required to become a NP.
NPs have sufficient education and experience to prescribe and administer scheduled medicines, and their advanced practice level allows them to work in the area of cosmetic medicine. However, they must declare that they have completed the required practice requirements of the Registration standard: Recency of practice and NMBA Nurse practitioner standards for practice.
RNs with a sole qualification in mental health, paediatric, or disability nursing
RNs with a sole qualification in mental health, paediatric, or disability nursing cannot practice in cosmetic medical procedures. To work in this area, RNs must complete an NMBA-approved course which leads to general registration. For more information on RNs with a sole qualification, click here.
There are no changes to how cosmetic injectables are prescribed or administered; however, there are updates regarding which nurses can either prescribe or administer the injections. The updates specific to cosmetic injections are explained in the section above.
Cosmetic medical procedures
As with cosmetic injectables, there are no changes to the outline of the procedure; however, the NMBA have provided further clarification around which nurses can and cannot work in this area of practice. Review the above section to see how the NMBA standards affect ENs, RNs, and NPs differently.
About our cosmetic courses
Whether you’re a nurse looking to start your career in cosmetics or wish to progress further in the industry, we have a range of cosmetic courses suitable for you. We have dedicated courses for nurses designed to catapult their careers in cosmetic nursing, injectables, and minor non-surgical procedures.
If you’d like more information on any of our courses, please feel free to contact us.