Maternal and child health (MCH) nurses play a vital role in the early childhood sector supporting the development, health and wellbeing of babies and toddlers.
Maternal and child health nurses work in local government, parenting centres and community health services in metropolitan, regional and rural locations. They provide care and monitoring and run educational programs to assist parents and help them to develop supportive social networks.
For further information on what a career as an MCH nurse looks like, see:
Qualifications and Registration
To practice in Victoria, maternal and child health nurses must be registered with the Australian Health Practiticioner Registration Authority (AHPRA) and:
- be a Division 1 Registered Nurse
- be a Registered Midwife
- hold a postgraduate qualification in child, family and community health nursing.
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.
A new 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:
Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency or
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia