Australia has a reputation for having one of the best trained nursing and midwifery workforces in the world and to keep nurses and midwives educationally up to date they are now required to undertake a minimum 20 hours of ongoing professional development (CPD) each year which is mandated by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).
New research, new technology, peoples’ expectations of health care, and a greater focus on their right to be more involved in deciding what care they receive means all nurses and midwives in all areas of health care, need to keep learning and expanding their knowledge and nursing and midwifery skills.
“The requirement for continuing professional development is a really positive initiative by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia however it can be difficult for some nurses and midwives to achieve, especially in the aged care sector,” ANF Federal Education Officer, Jodie Davis, said today.
Nurses working in the aged and community care sectors often do not have the same opportunities as nurses working in the public sector to get access to ongoing education. This challenge is even greater for those nurses working in rural and remote areas. As one nurse from the country told us recently “I work part time and if I have to pay for travel, conference attendance fees, accommodation and meals to get my CPD hours then I will quit nursing. Many of my workmates feel the same”.
“Aged care nurses need access to CPD that is effective, affordable and can be done at their own pace and when it suits them. Aged care nurses cope on a daily basis with staff shortages, and lower wages; getting their CPD hours should not be another burden for this dedicated group of nurses,” Ms Davis said.
The Australian Nursing Federation www.anf.org.au has launched the Aged Care Training Room (ACTR) to address these issues. The ACTR provides all aged and community care nurses working with older people access to aged care specific continuing professional development. All the nurse requires is a computer with internet access. The ACTR contains over 50 CPD activities for the nurse to choose from as well as other resources to ensure that all of their registration requirements are met.
Every older person living in Australia has the right to get quality aged care and every aged care nurse must be supported to provide quality care. With a shortage of aged care nurses across the country we can’t take the risk of more nurses leaving because they can’t meet their registration requirements.
Contact details Jodie Davis ANF Federal Education Officer Ph: 02 6232 6533
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