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Awaiting your graduate program?

Awaiting your graduate program?

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If you’re due to start your graduate program later in the year, you might be wanting to enter the workforce early to keep your skills fresh and earn money.

ANMF have been contacted by members worried that if work more than 24 hours per week as a nurse or midwife before commencing their graduate year they will be ineligible for their grad program.

The 24 hours work rule does not apply once you’ve been matched with a grad position and obtained your registration.

The rule only applied when as criteria for a grad position through the PMCV process. The Department of Health has similar guidelines regarding the funding of graduate positions. This only applies to the funding your employer receives as opposed to your eligibility for the grad program they are offering.

If you hold registration

Newly registered nurses and midwives are not limited to how much you work prior to your grad program.  You can work in any setting and role appropriate to your beginner’s scope of practice setting.

You can also continue to work as a RUSON/RUSOM, before commencing your grad program, , but you need to be paid at a higher level (Grade 2 Year 1 YP2 or Y01 under the public sector enterprise agreement). Just submit proof of registration to your employer.

Scope of practice

Remember that you must practice within the AHPRA/NMBA’s professional codes, standards, and guidelines. This includes only undertaking activities which you are ‘educated, authorised and competent’ to perform.

If you’re a RUSON/RUSOM, you must continue to work the position description of the COVID Surge RUSON/RUSOM. Your RN/M scope of practice applies only when you begin your grad year.

Be mindful to let your employer and colleagues know you are a new grad so they have realistic expectations about your individual scope of practice (see the NMBA’s decision making framework).

You are accountable for your own practice, so speak up if you feel you are being asked to undertake activities which you aren’t ‘educated, authorised or competent’ to perform.  You do not want to jeopardise your career before you have begun!

Keep your first pay slip

Your date of registration  will become your anniversary date for calculating your ‘year of experience’ and associated pay increases. Keep your first payslip as it will be evidence of your anniversary date.

If your registration isn’t finalised

If you’re waiting for your registration, working as a RUSON or RUSOM or working in aged care as a personal care worker will keep you in contact with the health care or aged care setting. It’s also a great way to develop your skills, communication and can be immensely rewarding.

Just remember if you are working as a PCW, you must stick to the scope of a PCW, only undertake the activities outlined in the PCW position description and not those of a registered nurse or registered midwife. You cannot use the protected title of registered RN/RM until you are registered with AHPRA nor practice as a registered nurse/midwife until you are registered and employed in the role of a registered nurse/midwife.

Rates of pay for nurses, midwives and carers can be found in your enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) through the ANMF member portal (look under ‘My Membership’ section).

Don’t forget your continuing professional development (CPD)

Undertaking continuing professional development is one way to refresh your skills and learn new ones. As a full member you have $400 credit (student members $80 credit) for our online CPD portal.

From the privacy of your home you can undertake online modules, such as ‘Intercultural communication’, ‘Nursing and midwifery health’ or ‘Refugee and asylum seeker health’.

These will also attract CPD hours for registration.

Let us know if there’s a problem

If you’ve been informed there are working restrictions before you commence your graduate year, having registration issues, or being asked to work outside your scope of practice, email Alice Pemberton, our Graduate and Final Year Officer for assistance. Please include any correspondence with your email.