Registered nurses are trained professionals who often work directly with patients. As part of providing holistic care to every patient, nurses should protect the patients from harmful effects of having physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual imbalances…
To ensure that each patient is able to receive proper care, all registered nurses are obliged to engage themselves in a continued professional development (CPD) programme (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2010). Whether formal or informal, CPD programmes are designed to allow each health care professional access to education or other related learning activities designed on how they can further improve their nursing competencies and expertise (i.e. formal educational classes, rounds, meetings, symposia, conferences, etc) (Gunn and Goding, 2009). In most cases, the provision of a CPD programme can help nurses improve the service quality they give to each patient. The main purpose of this study is to be able to determine what it takes to be a highly competitive registered nurse based on gathered evidence coming from a wide range of current studies. Based on a self-identified gap in skills and knowledge, strategic ways of how nursing students can effectively transform the required knowledge, skills and competencies into practice will be tackled in detail. Self-Identified Gap Set under the national competency standards and CPD registration standards, I am aware of the 20 hours nursing CPD requirements plus a minimum of 10 hours educational intervention with regard to the endorsement of medicines each year. However, I am not aware that nurses are required to keep a written document on CPD providing that registered nurses have completed a minimum of 20 hours each year (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2010). Likewise, it was only recently that I have gained some idea that the CPD also requires all nurses to be able to identify their learning needs and plan how they can fill in the learning gap and reflect on the importance of key learning activities involved in the CDP process (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2013). Evidence for Current Required Knowledge, Skills and Competencies As evidence for the current required knowledge, skills and competencies under the CPD registration standards, registered nurses are expected to create documentation with regard to their personal initiatives and active participation in continuous professional development. As part of the documentation requirements, registered nurses are to record all data including the number of hours they spent on each learning intervention plus a short description of their learning outcomes (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2010). Also related to the documentation of CPD initiatives, registered nurses are obliged to identify and prioritise their learning needs based on what they already know and do not know. In line with this, a CPD assessment framework can be used to encourage each and every healthcare professional to create their own professional vision and goals as they increase their own knowledge with regard to nursing legislation and the expected nursing professional ethics and nursing practice standards (ANMC, 2009). It will also help the student nurses to be able to identify their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the nursing profession, and create their own career plan on how they can convert these weaknesses into one of their strengths (ANMC, 2009). However, the act of attending CPD classes does not necessarily mean that the nurses have acquired new learning (Dixon et al., 2011). Furthermore, the use of assessment framework alone does not mean an increase in the nurses’ competency (Ross, Barr and Stevens, 2013). When pursuing admission to CPD, all registered nurses should keep in mind the importance of incorporating evidence-based practice into their nursing profession (Nesbitt, ...
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