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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

What Constitutes Continuing Professional Development Activities? (CPD Part 5)

CPD activities can range from informal, self-directed activities, such as reading journal articles, to quite formal activities, such as academic education programs or courses. You should consider those activities that best meet your learning needs and goals,  time resources and costs and also your preferred learning stye. 

Primarily you should explore a wide range and diversity of learning activities where you are able to gather information, analyse and reflect on that information and test its application to your practice. 

It can also be a bit confusing about an activity can be included as part of your CPD and when is that activity merely part of your job. A practice nurse recently asked me if the fact that she was required to mentor a new staff person into the job could be included as part of her own CDP. I am also often asked by nurse educators who are often unsure what they can claim as CPD when their role is fundamentally teaching. 

The distinction is fairly simple. 

Ask yourself did the activity contribute to or consolidate newly acquired knowledge for you, and does that new knowledge directly relate to your context of practice. 

If it did, then it is part of your CPD.  Therefore, in relation to the practice nurse who was responsible for mentoring a new staff person into the role, the mentoring itself was part of her job role and not specifically contributing to her own CPD hours. The nurse educator who runs annual skills updates for nursing staff is fulfilling her role responsibilities and this is not part of her CDP hours.  That is not to say that these activities do not contribute the the mentors/educators skills, they are merely not part of their planned CPD requirements as determined by the Standard.

If however the practice nurse had identified a mentoring activity associated with a new learning goal, and the mentoring was a new/developing skill in itself or the context in which she was mentoring was newly acquired knowledge and she was using a mentoring activity to consolidate this knowledge, then clearly the activity would be part of her CPD and documented in her Learning Plan.

The following table provides a range of activities for you to consider ranging from informal to formal activities. 


The Health Objective A Professional Portfolio of Continuing Competence for Nurses & Midwives  Understanding & Managing CPD  A Practical Tool Kit 
2nd Edition July 2011 healthobjective@westnet.com.au

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