Nursing requires continual learning throughout your career. Nursing CPD

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What is CPD?

CPD is the way you can maintain, improve and broaden your knowledge and competence needed for your professional practice. It is a way for you as a health professional to stay up to date, relevant and safe in your practice and provide great patient care!

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CPD is a requirement of registration even if you are not working or are working overseas. You must complete at least 20 hours of CPD per profession each year. This must be relevant to your context of practice.

Auditing: NMBA has the discretion to select a random number of nurses and midwives to be audited at any time

The NMBA recommends that you keep evidence of CPD, including self-directed learning, for a period of five years.

How many hours?

  • RN or EN: 20 hours
  • Midwife: 20 hours
  • RN and Midwife:40 hours
  • EN and Midwife: 40 hours

I probably did more than 20 hours of CPD but never recorded it, and now I’m being audited…regrets

You, if you forget to record. Don’t forget = don’t regret

At the time of renewal, you need to make a declaration about your CPD. If you declared that you do not meet met your quota for CPD you may be contacted to provide additional information.

See more in-depth information by going to the Fact sheet: Continuing professional development

What counts as Nursing CPD?

Anything as long as it’s properly documented, as long as you can link it to your CURRENT scope, then you might be able to use it. In-services and events you attend at work, study days, orientation, conferences, seminars, webinars, online competencies that are done through a hospital either compulsory or non-compulsory ones. It can also be reading a nursing journal, a scientific article.

In other words, if it relates to your ongoing development and is relevant to your scope and nursing then you should be able to add to your portfolio of CPD.

Examples of CPD include (but are not limited to):

  • Attending a conference
  • Working with a mentor to improve practice
  • Participating in a professional reading and discussion group
  • Watching a video learning activity online
  • Listening to nursing lectures
  • Online CPD for nurses or midwives in general
  • Writing or reviewing educational materials, nursing articles, journal articles or books
  • Completing a self-directed learning package
  • Presenting at an insservice, workshop or developing educational tools
  • Acting as a preceptor, mentor or tutor
  • Attending a CPD seminar or workshop
  • Reflecting on feedback, keeping a practice journal
  • Undertaking postgraduate course units which are of relevance to your context of practice
  • Participating in clinical audits, critical incident monitoring, case reviews or clinical meetings
  • Developing policy, protocols and guidelines

EN studying to become an RN

For EN’s who are studying to become an RN, lots of what you will learn in your RN course will be within your scope as an EN, so that stuff will count. Things that you learn in the RN course that is a crossover and linked within an EN’s scope, you could record the things relevant to the EN scope for EN registration.

Should nursing students do it?

It is great for resume as a student applying for jobs. It shows that you take initiative, are proactive and willing to always be continually learning. Of course, your study is already busy, however, if you can even manage to do a seminar here and there or an online free course then this gives you more content to add to your cover letter and resume.

When doing a placement, sometimes the service add you to an online intranet and you to complete the fire safety, age care abuse inductions and so on. However, if you play around and look at the catalogue and open every link often there are courses for the employees that you can access and get a certificate. It is a loophole, but it does work occasionally!

If you need help with your resume and cover letter. CLICK HERE

Documenting Nursing CPD

To provide evidence of  CPD, you may need to provide the following documentation:
•    The identified learning need – based on an evaluation of your practice against the relevant competency or professional practice standards
•    A learning plan – based on identified learning needs
•    Your participation in the learning activity – relevant to learning needs
•    The outcome achieved and reflection on the value or effect that participation in the learning activity will have on professional practice.
•    References to the articles that you have read are needed for self-directed activities.

For a template, CLICK HERE

It’s easy during a tafe or university degree, graduate year or your first few years of practice to forget to record things you learn, but if you set up a system beforehand to record your professional development, you’ll save yourself a lot of worries later!

You would be surprised how many things you’ve already done that may be valid! For example, during your degree you probably had to do BloodSafe e-learning module. THIS does count! If you haven’t, go do one now and sign up and get the ball rolling:

Apps/Websites to record Nursing CPD

  • Ausmed (our favourite)
  • Ifolio
  • ANMF


Not relevant to CPD but important to know: Professional indemnity insurance

You cannot practise the profession in Australia without PII. You must maintain it through your own private cover, your Australian employer or another third party, and ensure you understand it. But you are not required to hold PII if you are unemployed or working overseas. Remember, practising means using your skills and knowledge as a health practitioner in any paid or unpaid role in your profession.

PII is important for all health professionals as any practising nurse, midwife or carer could:

  1. Be wrongfully accused of unprofessional conduct in administration and clinical roles
  2. Mistakenly give the wrong drug to a patient
  3. Fail to accurately carry out all instructions for care in a busy ward
  4. Be involved in a court case, even if only indirectly, or witness an incident
  5. Make a mistake due to workload stress, insufficient information or for any other reason.

If you have any other great recording applications please use the reply section below to let us know!

Stay tuned for a list of Nursing CPD providers both free and priced ones!

We hope you have a better understanding of Nursing CPD. Please use the reply button to comment or ask a question on Facebook.

Accurate as of June 2020