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Fact Sheet – Continuing Professional Development

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KEY MESSAGE – If you are planning to take any form of extended leave such as maternity leave and intend to resume your nursing or midwifery career please take the necessary steps to ensure you meet the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s (NMBA) Continuing Professional Development Standard. CPD – Continuing Professional Development To maintain registration all nurses and midwives must meet the continuing professional development (CPD) standard. This standard sets out the minimum requirements for CPD. CPD must be directly relevant to the nurse’s or midwife’s context of practice. This standard has been approved by the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council on 31 March 2010 pursuant to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (2009) the National Law) with approval taking effect from 1 July 2010. CPD is the means by which nurses / midwives maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge, expertise and competence, and develop the personal and professional qualities required throughout their professional lives.

The CPD cycle involves reviewing practice, identifying learning needs, planning and participating in relevant learning activities, and reflecting on the value of those activities (ANMC, 2009). For more information on reflective practice see Melanie Jasper’s, Beginning Reflective Practice – Foundations in Nursing & Health Care, 2003 and for a suitable framework to use see Borton’s Developmental Framework for Reflection (see page 2).

The following activities are some examples of CPD: Reflecting on feedback, keeping a practice journal Acting as a preceptor / mentor / tutor Participating on accreditation, audit or quality improvement committees Undertaking supervised practice for skills development Participating in clinical audits, critical incident monitoring, case reviews and clinical meetings Participating in a professional reading and discussion group Developing skills in IT, numeracy, communications, improving own performance, problem solving and working with others Writing or reviewing educational materials, journal articles, books Active membership of professional groups and committees Reading professional journals or books Writing for publication Developing policy, protocols or guidelines Working with a mentor to improve practice Presenting at or attending workplace education, in-service sessions, skills workshops, conferences, lectures, seminars or professional meetings Undertaking undergraduate or postgraduate studies which are of relevance to the context of practice Conducting or contributing to research Undertaking relevant online or distance education (ANMC, 2009). If you are registered both as a nurse and a midwife you will be required to complete 20 hours of nursing CPD and 20 hours of midwifery CPD per year. If the CPD activities are relevant to both nursing and midwifery those activities may be counted as evidence for both nursing and midwifery CPD hours.

A relatively simple model very suitable for novice reflectors / practitioners but can be used at different levels. It is based on the need for practitioners to operate in the real world of practice – the need to identify, make sense of and respond to real life situations. It asks the person to reflect using three basic starting points to the following questions: What? eg. What happened; what was I doing; what were others doing? This combines the reflective processes of identifying the experience and describing the detail.

So What? eg. So what more do I need to know in order to understand the situation; so what could I have done that was different? This part breaks down the situation and tries to make sense of it by analysis and evaluation, drawing on previous experiences and knowledge.

Now What? eg. Now what do I do to make things better? Now what will I do? Now what might be the consequences of this action? This stage combines the processes of exploring alternatives and planning action that will be put into practice in order to develop or change practice.

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