Requisite education framework: A competency based framework for progression through the Emergency Department

Mr Sean Lannan1, Mrs Amanda  Naumann1, Mrs Val Mitchell1

1Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, Birtinya, Australia

The career progression pathway for novice RNs in Emergency Departments is a process which is highly variable and dependent upon the individual and the department in which they work. It is well known that progression through the different stages of ED relies on experience, exposure to different patient conditions and situations, and the individual learning needs of the nurse in question.

Consistency and transparency often present concerns for unit managers and the educators supervising the nurse through progression. Inconsistencies in progression may occur between different nurses, especially in departments with large numbers of existing staff, or with nurses commencing their ED careers.

The Requisite Education Framework (REF) was developed by the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service Practice Development Team in consultation with the relevant clinicians to provide a clear, consistent and standardised approach for tracking progression of an individual through the various areas of nursing throughout the service.

The REF can be modified to suit the specific and unique needs of the nurse through the particular areas of the Emergency Department. The REF affords an outline of the training and skills required to successfully accomplish specific roles in the ED. It requires the individual to demonstrate appropriate knowledge and competence before progressing to the subsequent area in their workplace. To advance successfully, the individual should understand career progression and professional development opportunities. These are discussed and explored during the PAD process.

For educators and managers, the results of the implementation of the REF have provided a structure to plan education, design succession planning and determine skill-mix for rostering purposes. For the individual nurse, the REF affords them the structure and clearly defines the expectations and obligations required of them for departmental progression and further career planning.


Sean is a nurse educator for emergency services with the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health service. Sean has a history as a nurse working in Emergency Departments in Regional and Metropolitan Health Services and has an interest in Simulation Education.

Amanda is a nurse educator for emergency services with the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service. Amanda has worked in Emergency Departments in Australia and overseas, and has an interest in the development of the Advanced Practice Nurse role in ED.