- monitor children's health
- support maternal health and wellbeing
- identify health and development concerns early
- provide intervention and referral where necessary
- deliver health promotion and education programs
- provide parenting support.
Maternal and child health nurses work in metropolitan, regional and rural locations in a range of settings:
- in local government
- parenting centres
- community health services.
To practice in Victoria, maternal and child health nurses must:
Before starting maternal and child health studies, at least one year’s experience as a midwife is preferable.
Midwives have traditionally undertaken a three-year university degree in nursing and then completed a postgraduate qualification in midwifery to be eligible for registration. More recently, three-year university degrees in midwifery and double degrees have commenced in Victoria.
Suitable qualifications (depending on interest/area of specialisation include:
- Bachelor of Nursing (three years)
- Bachelor of Nursing or Bachelor of Midwifery (four years)
- Postgraduate studies in nursing.
A national registration and accreditation scheme for nurses and midwives began on 1 July 2010, and a new National Law (the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009) came into effect to regulate the profession.
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) is now responsible for setting standards and policies for the regulation of all nurses and midwives registered in Australia. It will be supported in this task by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
The NMBA has taken over the functions previously managed by the Nurses Board of Victoria.
For more information about how the national registration scheme operates, see: