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HomeScope of Practice Considerations in Determining Scope Continuing Professional Development

Considerations in determining scope: continuing professional development

Continuing professional development (CPD) encompasses experiences, activities and processes that contribute towards the development of a nurse or midwife as a health care professional. CPD is, therefore, a lifelong process of both structured and informal learning.

Continuing education is a lifelong learning process which takes place after the completion of the pre-registration education and training, and is a vital component of CPD. It consists of planned learning experiences which are designed to augment the knowledge, skills and attitudes of registered nurses and registered midwives for the enhancement of nursing and midwifery practice, education, leadership and research.

It is essential for each nurse and midwife to engage in CPD, following registration, in order to acquire new knowledge and competence to practise effectively in an ever-changing health care environment. Continuing professional and personal developments are required in order to maintain and enhance professional standards and to provide quality, competent and safe patient care.

The individual nurse or midwife is responsible for undertaking relevant CPD activities in order to develop their professional practice. Under the Nurses and Midwives Act 2011, Part 11 (yet to be enacted as at date of publication September 2015), registrants, employers and the NMBI have a responsibility in relation to the maintenance of professional competency. Continuing professional development is one element of professional competency.

Examples of activities that might contribute to a nurse or midwife’s professional development include formal education programmes, reflective practice, journal clubs, case-conferences, clinical supervision, learning sets, preceptorship, mentorship, workshops, distance learning, blended learning, e-learning, sourcing information and self-directed learning.

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