What is a RIPERN?
RIPERN stands for Rural and Isolated Practice Endorsed Registered Nurse
These Nurses are Registered Nurses with an additional endorsement recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Board Australia. RIPERN has been recognised as an endorsement in Victoria since 2012 and for many more years in Queensland. The Registered Nurse completes a 12 month (full-time) rural and isolated practice course which enables them to work in Victoria in Health Services and Bush Nursing centres gazetted by the Minister for Health.
The training includes pharmacology and clinical assessment, the nurses are considered to be competent to determine which patients they can manage and when the administration or supply of medicines is indicated.
The endorsement allows the RIPERN to supply and administer medicines in line with the clinical guidelines in the Primary Clinical Care Manual (PCCM). Every 2 years the PCCM is reviewed to ensure it is aligned to current medical, nursing and pharmacological practice.
RIPERN’s are not able to write prescriptions. A RIPERN can only supply or administer medicines by following the health management protocols in the PCCM.
Increasingly, nurses are undertaking additional training and can provide a wider range of primary care and emergency services from rural health services.
RIPERN’s are an extremely valuable addition to a small rural health service such as Alexandra District Health. We now have 6 RIPERN’s working at ADH with Lisa, Heather and Hayley (pictured) successfully completing their RIPERN qualification earlier this year, which is a wonderful achievement.