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Continuing competence and the regulation of nursing practice


Alan Pearson
School of Nursing and Midwifery
La Trobe University
Bundoora 3086


A study commissioned by the Australian Nursing Council Inc. sought to develop an approach to the maintenance of continuing competence in nursing that is broadly acceptable to nurses in all States and Territories. The study involved a comprehensive review of the international literature and this paper provides an overview of statutory regulation of professions with particular reference to regulation of the nursing profession. A definition of competence and competencies and a discussion of beginning and continuing professional competence are presented, followed by a review of current indicators of continuing professional competence used by a variety of professions in Australia.