Continuing competence

Nurse with girl 3

The Council and the public expect that all nurses will continue to learn and to maintain their competence. Nurses are responsible for seeking opportunities to learn and maintain their competence. However, employers can help nurture continuing professional development activities with their staff.

Nurses should complete professional development in the context of their scope of practice and work context. These activities may be within the work environment or within an educational context. Professional development may be taken as whole days or as hours and can include a variety of learning activities such as degree courses, short courses, seminars, conferences, in-service education, or online learning and Internet-based courses. 

The 60 hours of professional development in 3 years should include more professional learning than just the mandatory or core training required by the employer. Some of the professional development must be relevant to your development as a nurse and to your area of practice. 

Journal reading may be considered a professional development activity if it takes place within a formal framework such as a journal club, a presentation to colleagues, or to inform an educational or quality improvement process. Meetings may be considered a professional development activity if they have an educational focus and include appropriate documentation (for example, minutes that clearly identify the education topic). 

Nurses are required to reflect on their professional development and may be asked to supply a statement of learning if they are selected for the recertification audit. Nurses can also belong to a Professional Development and Recognition Programme (PDRP)

For further information, see the Framework for the Approval of Professional Development and Recognition Programmes to Meet the Continuing Competence Requirements for Nurses in the right hand downloads box on this page, or contact us.

As part of the requirement for nurses to complete 60 hours of professional development in the next three years, the Council requires all nurses to complete professional pevelopment on the Code of Conduct and Guidelines Professional Boundaries. You will find these documents in the right hand downloads box on this page.

Return to top ^