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Nurse immuniser information

Page contents: About nurse immunisers | Becoming a nurse immuniser | Employing a nurse immuniser | Information for education providers

About nurse immunisers

The Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2006 is the mechanism by which Registered Nurses are approved to administer specified immunisations and can manage adverse reactions where there may not be a medical practitioner present. The service is provided to approved client groups in circumstances such as nurse-led immunisation services in local councils, general practice, hospitals, community health and occupational health services.

The Secretary Approval applies to a Registered Nurse who has completed a program of study. The nurse must meet the Secretary Approval defined criteria to practice.

The Secretary Approval is not applicable to Registered Nurses who have not completed a program of study but who may administer vaccines supplied under an individual prescription or under the direction (e.g. drug order) and supervision of a medical practitioner.

  Summary information about Immunisation Nurses

Nurse immunisers are approved under regulation 5(3) Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2006.

  Secretary Approval - Nurse Immuniser

The approval signed by the Delegate of the Secretary, Department of Health, dated 28 March 2012, replaces the approval dated 2 December 2011.

  Approved client groups for immunisation by Accredited Nurse Immunisers May 2007

Becoming a nurse immuniser

The Chief Health Officer has recognised the following nurse immuniser programs of study for Registered Nurses. The programs include

  • epidemiology of vaccine preventable disease
  • the role of immunisation in public health
  • the immunisation schedule
  • guidelines and policy relevant to the field.

Latrobe University Nurse Immuniser Program
Enquiries should be directed to:
Program Administrator, Nurse Immuniser Program
School of Nursing and Midwifery
La Trobe University
Bundoora VIC 3086
Tel. (03) 9479 5951 or fax (03) 9479 5988
Email: nip@latrobe.edu.au

Immunisation Education for Registered Nurses – University of Tasmania
Visit the website for enquiry and enrolment details.

The College of Nursing - Immunisation Course for Registered Nurses
Enquiries should be directed to:
College of Nursing
14 Railway Parade
Burwood NSW 2134
Postal: Locked Bag 3030, Burwood NSW 1805
Tel. (02) 9745 7500 fax (02) 9745 7501 Freecall 1800 265534 or: 1800 COLLEGE

Australian Catholic University
The School of Nursing & Midwifery (Queensland)
Certificate of Immunisation Course

Enquiries should be directed to:
Email: sue.kellner@acu.edu.au or jacqueline.meachen@acu.edu.au or
Phone: (07) 3623 7276

The University of Melbourne
General Practice and Primary Health Care Academic Centre
Immunisation and Travel Health

Enquiries should be directed to:
General Practice and Primary Health Care Academic Centre
University of Melbourne
200 Berkeley Street, Carlton, Vic 3053
Email: gp-enquiries@unimelb.edu.au
Tel: +61 3 8344 7276
Fax: +61 3 9347 6136

Employing a nurse immuniser

In Victoria, the provision in the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2006 is the mechanism by which Registered Nurses are approved to administer specified immunisations. The Registered Nurses’ employer has a responsibility to have in place the following minimum elements to support safe, high quality immunisation services by approved Registered Nurses:

  • A clinical risk management strategy and plan for immunisation services
  • A policy and procedure(s) related to the provision of immunisations by Registered Nurses under a Secretary Approval
  • A process for employment and ongoing clinical credentialing requirements for Registered Nurses practicing under the Secretary Approval.

The employer guide provides guidance on how employers can meet these requirements and has resources to assist employers and employees to meet their obligations. In addition the employer needs to consider the existing national and state immunisation policy and structures and legislation, including the requirements of a Poisons Control Plan (where applicable) that support this practice by Registered Nurses.  

  Immunisation competence: Guide for employers

Information for education providers

In Victoria, the Secretary of the Department of Health can approve a class of nurses (or midwives) to possess and administer medicines without the direct supervision of a doctor or nurse practitioner when it is necessary for the provision of health services and is within the competence of a nurse or midwife to do so without direct supervision. This provision in the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2006 is the mechanism by which Registered Nurses are currently approved to administer specified immunisations in specific circumstances such as nurse-led immunisation services in local councils. 

The following information sheet details the process and criteria for an educational institution to seek recognition from the Chief Health Officer for nurse immuniser programs of study.

  Information for education providers