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Home News Latest News Nursing and midwifery: two distinct professions

Nursing and midwifery: two distinct professions

Home News Latest News Nursing and midwifery: two distinct professions
October 24, 2018

To determine if you are working within your scope please use NMBI’s Scope of Practice Decision-Making Flowchart. This decision-making flowchart will assist you in making decisions in relation to your scope of practice.

To determine if you are working within your scope please use NMBI’s Scope of Practice Decision-Making Flowchart. This decision-making flowchart will assist you in making decisions in relation to your scope of practice.

A registered nurse is a person who: 
• has successfully completed a recognised and approved nursing education programme in the country where the qualification was achieved; 
• has acquired the necessary requirements to be registered to practise nursing in this jurisdiction and use the title ‘registered nurse’; and 
• demonstrates and maintains competency in the practice of nursing. 

This definition provides the basis for the following definition of the scope of nursing practice. The scope of nursing practice is the range of roles, functions, responsibilities and activities which a registered nurse is educated, competent and has authority to perform. 

A registered midwife is a person who: 
• has successfully completed a recognised and approved midwifery education programme in the country where the qualification was achieved; 
• has acquired the necessary requirements to be registered to practise midwifery in this jurisdiction and use the title ‘registered midwife’; and 
• demonstrates and maintains competency in the practice of midwifery. 

The scope of midwifery practice is the expected range of roles, functions, responsibilities and activities that a midwife registered with the NMBI is educated for and is competent and authorised to perform.

More specifically, the scope of midwifery practice is identified in the EC Directive of 2005 (2005/36/EC) as amended. 

Article 42 of the Directive (2005) states that: “The Member State shall ensure that midwives are able to gain access and pursue at least the following activities: 
(a) provide sound family planning information and advice; 
(b) diagnose and monitor normal pregnancies; carrying out the examinations necessary to do this; 
(c) prescribe or advise on necessary examinations for the earliest possible diagnosis of pregnancies at risk; 
(d) provide parenthood preparation programmes and provide preparation for childbirth advice including advice on hygiene and nutrition; 
(e) care for and help the mother during labour and monitor the condition of the baby in the womb using appropriate clinical and technical means; 
(f) conduct spontaneous deliveries, including, where required, episiotomies, and in urgent cases breech deliveries; recognise the warning signs of abnormality in the mother or baby’s condition which need to be referred to a doctor, and assist the doctor if necessary. The midwife should also take the necessary emergency measures in the doctor’s absence, in particular the manual removal of the placenta, possibly followed by manual examination of the womb; 
(g) examine and care for the newborn infant and take all initiatives that are needed, including resuscitation, if necessary; 
(h) care for and monitor the progress of the mother in the postnatal period and advise her on infant care so that the baby makes the best possible progress; 
(i) carry out the treatment prescribed by doctors; 
(j) draw up the necessary written reports”.

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