In Victoria, nurse immunisers are registered nurses (not enrolled nurses) who are approved to administer specified vaccines and can manage adverse reactions where there may not be a medical practitioner present. They can provide this service to approved client groups in circumstances such as nurse-led immunisation services in:
- local councils
- general practice
- community health
- occupational health services.
Nurse immunisers are approved under regulation 8(1) and regulation 161 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2017.
The Secretary Approval applies to a registered nurse who has completed a program of study. The nurse must meet the Secretary Approval criteria to practice.
The Secretary Approval does not apply 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 (for example, drug order) and supervision of a medical practitioner.
Japanese encephalitis vaccination
On 19 May 2022, in response to the emergence of Japanese encephalitis (JE) in Victoria, the Secretary Approval: Nurse Immuniser was amended to include administration of JE vaccine in accordance with the conditions outlined in the Approval.
A condition of the Secretary Approval for administration of the JE vaccine by nurse immunisers is completion of the Japanese encephalitis - eLearning module for immunisation providers in Victoria, which has been recognised by the Deputy Chief Health Officer - Communicable Disease.
Mpox (monkeypox) vaccination
On 3 October 2022, in response to the emergence of mpox in Victoria, the Secretary Approval: Nurse Immuniser was amended to include administration of the mpox vaccine in accordance with the conditions outlined in the Approval.
A condition of the Secretary Approval for administration of the mpox vaccine by nurse immunisers is completion of the Mpox (monkeypox) eLearning module for immunisation providers in Victoria, which has been recognised by the Deputy Chief Health Officer - Communicable Disease. The module is free and available at the .
A time-limited approval, Secretary Approval: Nurse Immuniser – SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) VACCINE, authorises a Nurse Immuniser to possess and administer any SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) VACCINE approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (COVID-19 VACCINE) in accordance with the conditions outlined in the Approval until 4 October 2024 (inclusive), unless revoked earlier.
- Further information is available on the . Nurse immunisers administering COVID-19 vaccines in Victoria should refer to this webpage for any additional requirements (training or otherwise) and for information and links to ATAGI recommendations, vaccine schedules and resources for immunisation providers.
Employing a nurse immuniser
Employers of nurse immunisers must have these minimum elements in place to support safe, high-quality immunisation services by approved Registered Nurses:
- clinical risk management strategy and plan for immunisation services
- policy and procedure(s) relating to the provision of vaccinations by Registered Nurses under a Secretary approval
- process for employment and ongoing clinical credentialing requirements for Registered Nurses practising under the Secretary approval.
Employers should also consider the existing national and state immunisation policy, structures and legislation, including the requirements of a Poisons Control Plan (where applicable) that support this practice by Registered Nurses.
Nurse immunisers – approved client groups
Approved client groups for vaccination by nurse immunisers, listed by vaccine-preventable disease.
Nurse immunisers - requirements and responsibilities
Employers and employees have certain responsibilities when a registered nurse is employed as a nurse immuniser.
Nurse immuniser study programs
Programs of study for Immunisers that have been recognised by the Chief Health Officer.
Reviewed 20 October 2023