Nurse Questions and Answers about CPD

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A CPD Q&A with Us

It’s March already, can you believe it? Which means that the May 31st deadline is looming once again! As a nurse education provider we field many questions about CPD all year round, however in March, April & May we often hear the same questions every day. So we’ve compiled the most common, and answered them for you here.

Of course, if you have any questions that we haven’t answered you can always email us or call us on 03 5443 3390.

What ‘counts’ as CPD?

A nurse’s continuing professional development activities can include a range of formal and informal learning activities, as long as they are related to the nurse or midwife’s context practice. With CPD it comes down to three things:

  • PLAN your learning needs
  • RECORD the CPD activities you undertake
  • REFLECT on how the activity improved/impacted on/was relevant to your nursing practice.

CPD activities can include:

  • Education Activities – Formal post-graduate courses, short courses, study days, in-services, self-paced education, online education, self-directed learning such as reading journal articles or textbooks.
  • Teaching Activities – Teaching presentations to students or colleagues, conference presentations, acting as a preceptor/mentor to students, graduates, junior/new staff, orientating a new staff member to your work area, presenting an in-service.
  • Participation in committees, portfolios or higher duties – Your involvement in hospital or professional committees can be included as a CPD activity. Many nurses and midwives represent their unit on a committee and/or hold a Continuous Improvement, OH&S, education or clinical speciality portfolio in their work area. All of these activities can be included as a CPD activity. If you undertake higher duties, or undertake a different role for a period of time you can also include this in your CPD activities.

Is this course accredited and/or approved?

Oh, if we had a dollar for every time this question was asked! Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia doesn’t ‘approve’ or ‘accredit’ courses. It is up to the nurse or midwife to decide whether or not the course in question is relevant to their scope of practice. You might see logos or statements saying that this course is endorsed by such and such organisation, but be careful. Usually that company has had to pay for that privilege, and hasn’t passed any content tests or checks. We recommend that you check that the content is relevant and interesting to you, and that you trust the content writers. Our rule of thumb is if you don’t know who wrote it, how can you trust its content?

How many hours do I have to do?

This depends on your type of registration. For an RN, EN or Midwife it is a minimum of 20 hours of active learning. However, if you’re registered as a RN and a Midwife then it’s 20 hours for your RN registration plus another 20 for your Midwife registration. It worth checking out the full table at the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s website.

Can I earn all my CPD online?

Yes, and no. You technically can, but we recommend you don’t. There are no rules stating where your learning must happen; relevant CPD activities can take many forms, as mentioned above. We think, however, that you will get the most from your learning if you do as many different activities as possible.

Please note:

The NMBA is releasing revised registration standards for CPD that come into effect on June 1st 2016. These changes do not apply to renewals of registration in 2016. When they are released, we will provide you with another update via our blog.

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