Supervised Practice Pathway – A Partnership Approach to ‘Re-entry to Practice’

Adjunct Associate Professor  Francine Douce1, Ms Dana Gray1

1Department of Health, Hobart, Australia


An innovative and practical solution to support nurses and midwives returning to practice has been established by the Tasmanian Office of the Chief Nurse and Midwife (OCNM).  The model was implemented in 2019 following introduction of a new re-entry supervised practice pathway by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).

The NMBA supervised practice pathway requires nurses and midwives to work 450 hours in direct and indirect supervision.  The NMBA pathway protects the public but how do nurses and midwives work in supervised practice when they are not employed, do not have the necessary professional networks and insurance requirements?

The innovative model developed by the OCNM provides nurses and midwives with the infrastructure and support they need to succeed.  Working in partnership with the Tasmanian Health Service (THS) supervised practice areas are sourced and fixed term employment provided by the OCNM.  Learning needs are identified though self-assessment against national practice standards.  Formative and summative assessments to assess progress and competence are completed.

Demand to participate in the OCNM supervised practice program model is high and reflects the need in our professional demographic.  In the first 18 months of its offering, seven registered nurses and one registered midwife have had the conditions on their registration removed and gained employment in the THS.

The benefits of supervised practice are being recognised and the ability to adapt the model for use in non-regulatory purposes was successfully trialled in 2020 to creatively support those seeking to change the context of their practice.


Francine Douce is a registered nurse and midwife with more than 30 years’ experience in the Tasmanian healthcare system and an active member of the Australian College of Nursing and a Fellow of the Australian College of Midwives.  Francine was appointed as Tasmania’s Chief Nurse and Midwife in 2016.

Dana Gray is an Assistant Director of Nursing in the Office of the Chief Nurse, Tasmania where she has worked since March 2020.  She has experience in clinical, education, management, and quality roles.  Dana is passionate about quality, innovation, learning and promoting positive patient outcomes.