Nursing Standards of Professional Practice

Nicole Brooke - Thursday, November 10, 2016

ARE YOU AWARE THAT THE STANDARDS FOR PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE FOR RNs HAS BEEN REVIEWED? The main change aside from the new standards and what was interesting is your 20 hours a year for Professional Development MUST be NEW learnings and needs to include reflection activity.

I attended an information session and I thought you might be interested in some of the changes. Please consider reading the NMB website:

Registered nurse (RN) practice is person-centred and evidence-based with preventative, curative, formative, supportive, restorative and palliative elements. RNs work in therapeutic and professional relationships with individuals, as well as with families, groups and communities. These people may be healthy and with a range of abilities, or have health issues related to physical or mental illness and/or health challenges.

RN practice, as a professional endeavour, requires continuous thinking and analysis in the context of thoughtful development and maintenance of constructive relationships. To engage in this work, RNs need to continue to develop professionally and maintain their capability for professional practice. RNs determine, coordinate and provide safe, quality nursing. This practice includes comprehensive assessment, development of a plan, implementation and evaluation of outcomes. As part of practice, RNs are responsible and accountable for supervision and the delegation of nursing activity to enrolled nurses (ENs) and others.

The Registered nurse standards for practice consist of the following seven standards:
  1. Thinks critically and analyses nursing practice.
  2. Engages in therapeutic and professional relationships.
  3. Maintains the capability for practice.
  4. Comprehensively conducts assessments.
  5. Develops a plan for nursing practice.
  6. Provides safe, appropriate and responsive quality nursing practice.
  7. Evaluates outcomes to inform nursing practice.

Current Registration Standards
  • Continuing professional development
  • Criminal history
  • English language skills
  • Professional indemnity insurance
  • Recency of practice
Continuing professional development (CPD)
  • Those who are registered but not working still need to complete CPD.
  • Minimum of 20 hours but must be relevant to your context. Part-time or casual still must have 20 hours.
  • The CPD cycle includes: plan, do, record and reflect.
  • Ensuring you are keeping up to date to meet professional responsibilities. Mandatory training (if new) then it may be counted. These 20 hours must be new learning rather than normal learning. You should keep these records for 5 years. But you can only get audited on the past year. Every piece of learning must include some sort of reflection. Attendance is not enough. It still must be on new learning. There must be a range of learning- not just education courses or reading articles etc. there's a template on the NMB website.
Recency of practice
  • Must have maintained adequate recency of practice. It includes management, education , research. Need to provide evidence of a minimum Of 450 hours of practice within the past 5 years. This has not changed. You would need to provide evidence of this if you were audited.
  • Key changes - included info for nurses and midwives in non clinical practice. Also information for nurses and midwives who need to perform this for both roles.
  • If they have been off the role for 5 years and not achieved 450 hours then the board may ask them to do a supervised practice role or refresher course.
  • If they have been out of a clinical area, the employer should establish competence as a part of their employment decision.
Professional indemnity insurance
  • Make sure you have adequate PI arrangements in place which provide adequate and appropriate cover for all aspects of your practice. That includes volunteering.

Other Changes and Updates

  • Endorsement as a nurse Practitioner
  • Key changes- updated definition of the program. They need to demonstrate recency of practice and must have Masters qualification.
  • Endorsement for midwives changes discussed.
  • Standards of practice have been updated to communicate standards that nurses are expected to act within.
  • EN standards if practice came into effect the 1/1/16 and replaced national competency standards for ENs. Features include that they need to work under direct and indirect supervision of a RN, are responsible for their actions and accountable in providing delegates care. See the fact sheet re direct and indirect supervision.
  • RN standards if practice came into effect the 1/1/16 and replaced national competency standards for RN. They have changed greatly. Each standard has criteria that specify how the standard is demonstrated. Apply across all areas of practice. They are person centre and evidenced based.
  • Professional practice framework has been updated. There are resources that should be considered including registration standards, standards of practice, codes of professional conduct, codes of ethics and decision making framework.
  • Codes of conduct is about to be reviewed. Social media is now included, as well as bullying and harassment. There's further discussion on professional boundaries.
  • National health support service for nurses and midwives (ehealth) for those with or at risk of a health impairment ( inc drugs, mental health) to support resourcing and advice. Newly established and will be launched shortly.
  • New outcomes based assessment of IQNM Competence to practice. They can now no longer use experience to establish qualifications In Australia and allow practice. This is 2 years away from implementation.

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