For important information on Immunisation Program Authorisations and the amended Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 please see Program Authorisations.
Authority to Practise
Under the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 to the extent necessary to practise nursing under an immunisation program, an immunisation program nurse is authorised to administer a vaccine or other restricted drug under a drug therapy protocol.
A drug therapy protocol means a certified document published by the department stating circumstances in which, and conditions under which, a person who may act under the protocol may use a stated controlled or restricted drug or poison for stated purposes.
An immunisation program means:
An immunisation program nurse means a registered nurse who:
Health Management Protocol
If an Immunisation Program Nurse wishes to be employed on an Immunisation Program under the auspices of the Drug Therapy Protocol (DTP), the employer must have a current Health Management Protocol (HMP). The DTP describes the minimum content of the HMP.
The HMP must be developed in accordance with the current edition of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australian Immunisation Handbook, and adopted by an interdisciplinary health team appointed by the employer under whose jurisdiction the HMP will be implemented.
The HMP must be endorsed and dated by the District Health Service Manager or Chief Executive Officer, and shall be effective for a maximum of two (2) years from the date of endorsement by the employer.
Registered Nurses can only give a vaccination to a person on a doctor’s, nurse practioner’s or physician’s assistant’s oral or written instruction, unless they are currently employed as an Immunisation Program Nurse on an Immunisation Program under the auspices of the Drug therapy protocol (as defined in the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996).
Enrolled Nurses can no longer be endorsed for medication administration from 1 July 2010 under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act (2009). Enrolled nurses who have not completed the medication administration course have a “Notation” on their registration stating 'Does not hold Board approved qualifications in administration of medicines’ and therefore enrolled nurses with this notation are not qualified to administer restricted drugs, including vaccines.
However, an Enrolled Nurse who does NOT have the above “notation” on their registration can give a vaccination to a person, but only on a Doctor’s oral or written instruction AND under the supervision of a Doctor or Registered Nurse.
Further information on Enrolled Nurses and Medicine Administration, click here.