Immunisation

Immunisation is a hot topic with primary health care nurses, with hundreds of immunisations given by nurses every day around Australia. The latest information around immunisations will always be on the Australian Government Immunisation website or/and the latest Australian Immunisation Handbook

As with any procedure, nurses need to ensure that administering immunisations is within their scope of practice.

For some nurses this might mean undertaking an online course, attending a face-to-face workshop about immunisations, or becoming an authorised nurse immuniser. This page will briefly cover:

  • Immunisation legislation facts
  • State and territory information: Legislation and nurse immuniser approved courses
  • Other information available on immunisation

Immunisation legislation facts

It should be noted that legislation in Australia is constantly under review. The best place to source information around immunisation legislation is your state or territory government website. 

Here are a few quick facts about immunisation in Australia.

All vaccinations are S4 medications
Enrolled nurses may only administer a vaccine with a doctor’s order
Enrolled nurses who have not completed the medication administration course will have a notation on their registration stating that they have not completed the course, so are not qualified to administer vaccines or other restricted drugs
Registered nurses may only administer a vaccine with a doctor’s oral or written order unless they have completed an approved nurse immuniser course in accordance with state or territory legislation (QLD, ACT and WA are an exception to this rule, see state and territory information below)
All nurses need to ensure they are working within their professional and individual scope of practice

State and Territory Information

The Chief Health Officer has recognised a number of 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

Please see below for where to find information on your state or approved course providers and further information. Links to more information for each state and territory are available at the end of the page.

Australian Capital Territory

Immunisation information: Nurse immuniser course:
ACT Health Immunisation Section (02) 6205 2300
ACT legislation does not cover an authority to immunise without the direction of a medical officer, see ACT Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2008

Australian College of Nursing – Immunisation for health practitioners (online)
P: (02) 9745 7500 or 1800 265534

New South Wales

Immunisation information: Nurse immuniser course:
Public Health Unit 1300 066 055
Information for Health Professionals 
Australian College of Nursing – Immunisation for health practitioners (online)
P: (02) 9745 7500 or 1800 265 534

Northern Territory

Immunisation information: Nurse immuniser course:
Registered nurses and midwives

Understanding Vaccines and National Immunisation Program online, provided by SA Health.
Or another approved interstate course.

P: (08) 8922 8747

Queensland

Immunisation information: Nurse immuniser course:

An authorised nurse immuniser is only allowed to give immunisations under approved immunisation programs such as local councils, community health, or school-based vaccination program. An authorised nurse immuniser working in a general practice in Queensland may only administer a vaccine with a doctor’s oral or written order.

Queensland Health
P: (07) 3328 9310

Queensland Health Immunisation Program 
P: (07) 3328 9888 

Australian Catholic University
The School of Nursing & Midwifery (Queensland)
Program for nurse immunisers
P: (07) 3623 7276

Queensland Immunisation Authorisation course 
For Registered Nurses (RN) who hold an interstate immunisation qualification who wish to gain immunisation authorisation in Queensland.

Immunisation Program - Registered Nurse Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 course Prepares Registered Nurses for authorisation to practice as an Immunisation Program Nurse under the provisions of the Queensland Government Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996.

 

South Australia

Immunisation information: Nurse immuniser course:

A registered nurse in a general practice clinic cannot vaccinate independent of a medical in South Australia, even if he/she has undertaken an approved training program.

To meet the requirements of the Vaccine Administration Code the registered nurse must work in an approved organisation and only administered an certain immunisation programs. General practice clinics are not usually recognised as approved organisations.

P: 1300 232 272 

Understanding Vaccines and the National Immunisation Program – online, provided by SA Health.

Other courses approved by SA Health are listed on the SA Health website.

P: 1300 232 272

Tasmania

Immunisation information: Nurse immuniser course:
Public Health Services: Information for Immunisation Providers below Immunisation Education for Registered Nurses University of Tasmania
P: (03) 6324 3227

Victoria

Immunisation information: Nurse immuniser course:

Information for health professionals below

Information about Nurse Immunisers in Victoria below

La Trobe University Nurse Immuniser Program
P: (03) 9479 5951

Immunisation and travel health
University of Melbourne
General Practice and Primary Health Care Academic Centre
P: (03) 8344 7276

Western Australia

Immunisation information: Nurse immuniser course:
Nurses are to vaccinate under a medical order, unless they meet the requirements of the Vaccine Administration Code (VAC). More information found below. Understanding Vaccines and the National Immunisation Program – online, provided by SA Health
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