Why This Continuing Professional Development ?
Continuing professional development (CPD) refers to the means by which an individual belonging to a certain profession maintains a track or a documentary of his skills, knowledge, and experience. The relevance of this is to improve and widen their scope of knowledge, expertise and competence standards (Barr, Kay, & John, 2013). It is important in every profession as it helps in developing the personal values and attributes as well as professional qualities which are essential in one’s professional life. It can also be evaluated as a portfolio showcasing an individual development as a professional.
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC) require that all registered nurses should develop themselves through CPD, to achieve and improve on their competence standards of the nursing and midwifery profession (Lawson, 2011). It has therefore set specific requirements for professional development among nursing practitioners and the registered nurses. These include at least 20 hours CPD, for one to be registered as a nurse or a midwife. If an individual is practicing as both a nurse and midwife, he or she is required to complete at least 20 hours for both registers and further 20 hours for endorsements. One is also required to fill in a record sheet or create a portfolio of his or her development activities, which provides an evidence of CPD attendance in relation to the number of hours attended and other certificates of participation (Ali, 2012). Lastly, the individual are required to take other accredited courses which are usually offered by professional associations in order to enhance his or her professional development.
Research has also shown that portfolio can be used as evidence of CPD (Lawson, 2011). His research is based on the regulations of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC, 2008a and 2008b). Ali (2008) talks of enhancing or promoting mentor competency. All qualified nurses and midwives are therefore given the responsibility of facilitating learning within the clinical settings and that those taking formal mentoring must complete a course approved by NMC. The second regulation provided in (NMC, 2008b) requires all registered nurses to map their acquired skills and knowledge against the domains of their development framework (Gordon & Campbell, 2013). The mentors will, therefore, develop a portfolio for those taking formal mentoring which serves as evidence of CPD and help them in fulfilling their roles of been stage 1 and stage two mentors. The nurses after receiving such mentorship, they will evaluate themselves against the NMC requirements or domains for mentors and identify any knowledge gaps which may enable them to meet their personal and professional domains.
The mentors are able to keep a portfolio evidence and information of the students whom they have mentored and can photocopy their details upon the receipt of the consent of the student. They are also able to examine themselves through the use of the SWOT analysis, whereby they analyze their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and potential threats in their mentoring process. Such analysis can, therefore, be used during the annual appraisals with their managers. Upon the completion of an approved mentorship preparation program by the NMC, the nurses become qualified and can be engaged in support services such as teaching and assessment as well as conducting pre- registration of students during practice placements.
Ali, P. A. (2012). Professional development and the role of mentorship. Nursing Standard, 22(42), 35-39
Barr, J., Kay, R & John, S (2013). Mandatory continuing professional development requirements: What does this mean for Australian Nurses, 12(9). 1472-6955, doi:10.1186.
Gordon, J. A., & Campbell, C. M. (2013).The role of ePortfolios in supporting continuing professional development in practice. Medical Teacher, 35(4), 287-294. doi:10.3109/0142159X.2013.773395.
Lawson, L (2011). Continuing Professional Development for mentors: Creating a portfolio. Nursing times; 107:21, 15-18.
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