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Allison is a registered nurse and senior health policy adviser with some 25 years experience. Prior to launching CPD Nurse Escapes, Allison worked as a private consultant for a diverse range of clients in the government and non-government, health, community and education sectors. Allison has an extensive background in regulation, governance and professional practice and applies this in education, policy development and project management. Allison was the Principal Advisor, Professional Practice at the Nursing & Midwifery Board of South Australia, for 10 years where she was responsible for developing nursing and midwifery policy and standards and advising and educating nurses and midwives on professional practice issues.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Nurses Required to undertake Continuing Professional Development in Australia (CPD Part 1)

Welcome to The Health Objective and to my very first post! 
I hope to be able to provide you with helpful information in relation regulation and professional practice. Nurses and midwives today need to be professionally and politically aware. I hope to provide an avenue for open discussion and reflection on the challenges we face as regulated health professionals. Your involvement will add the depth and flavour needed to fully explore these topics and issues. I invite and encourage you to comment on my posts. So lets start..........  
Many nurses and midwives I have spoken to are confused about the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) new requirements for mandatory annual Continuing Professional Development. They are concerned that the Board has not clearly defined what constitutes evidence of CPD or in what format the evidence must be provided. They are unclear also what activities will be recognised as appropriate learning, who is required to validate the evidence or how to apply the learning directly to the Competency Standards. I hope over the next few posts to clarify these requirements and assist you to get started, if you haven't already.  Nurses and midwives in contemporary practice are faced with many challenges.  One of the most important responsibilities you face is advancing your professional knowledge as part of your professional accountability and competence. Reflecting on your practice, achievements and difficulties are a necessary part of demonstrating and maintaining continuing competence. Your ability to analysis your current practice, identify ongoing learning needs, focus your professional goals and evaluate this practice and learning are imperative to the process. A Professional Portfolio of Continuing Professional Development provides a practical and accessible resource to support this evidence. Further it can assist in developing a resume, preparing for performance reviews and job interviews.  Since 1 July 2010, all nurses and midwives are required to maintain evidence of Continuing Professional  Development on an annual basis. The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) requires that all nurses and midwives in Australia, maintain a current verified record of continuing professional development (CPD) and actively and critically engage in a minimum of 20 hours of CPD each year. For practitioners on more than one register (ie registered nurse and registered midwife) they are required to undertake 20 hours of nursing plus 20 hours of midwifery CPD. Where the CPD activity is relevant to both nursing and midwifery, the hours can be counted as evidence for both professions.  The NMBA requires that you;
  • undertake CPD relevant to the context of your practice
  • keep documentation of CPD hours completed
  • document dates, description of outcomes, number of hours spent on each activity - where your CPD is self directed
  • ensure your learning activities are verified
  • identify and prioritise learning needs (based on evaluation of your practice against the relevant Competency Standards
  • develop a learning plan (based on your learning needs)
  • participate in effective learning activities (relevant to your identified learning needs)
  • reflect on the values of each learning activity and its relevance to and impact on your practice.
Context of practice refers to the environment in which nursing is practising, and which in turn influences that practice. It includes the:
·      characteristics of the consumer (including their cultural background) and the complexity of care required by them
·      model of care, type of service or health facility and physical setting
·      amount of clinical support and/or supervision that is available resources that are available, including the staff skill mix and level of access to other health care professionals (ANMC 2007)

Reference:  Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia Continuing Professional Development Registration Standard 1 July 2010 www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au   ANMC 2007 A National Framework for the Development of Decision-Making Tools for Nursing and Midwifery Practice.

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