Emergency nursing education – engagement and leadership

Mrs Hollie Jaggard1

1Peninsula Health, Frankston, Australia

Background: All nurses and midwives are responsible and accountable for participating in continuing professional development (CPD) ensuring continual engagement and improvement on best practice, and patient care. All registered nurses must apply for registration renewal every year. Part of this process is a declaration that their practice is current, safe and competent.

As a method of protecting the public whilst providing leadership and support maintaining professional standards, minimum requirements for CPD are integrated into registration renewals for Registered Nurses. There is little research regarding the perspective and attitudes of Registered (emergency) Nurses towards mandatory CPD.

Study Aim: The research aimed to examine the attitudes of emergency nurses toward CPD, and to explore the factors that influence perception of CPD.

Design: using 5 focus groups, a qualitative study was undertaken. Participants (n=28) responded to open-ended questions, and discussion among participants was encouraged on each topic. Transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. Institutional ethical approval was granted.

Findings: Four main themes were identified: Questioning of mandatory CPD – nurses ideas varied about what constituted CPD and why minimum hours were enforced; Extrinsic versus Intrinsic educational drive – the motivating factors that encourage nurses to engage in CPD; Barriers to CPD – obstacles described as a hindrance to engaging in regular CPD; and Accessible Learning – relevant educational opportunities that meet learners needs, encompassing appropriate skill levels, and learning styles.

Conclusion: Relevant and specific CPD is essential to increasing participation and engagement in ongoing professional development for the benefit of patients, staff and organizations.

Accountability and ownership for education needs to be established within the nursing profession; both to increase personal and professional drive for CPD and to assist in removing barriers and obstacles in prioritizing education. Leadership in nursing education is necessary to promote inherent requirements and standards.


Hollie completed her Bachelor of Nursing in 2015 and was awarded the 2015 First State Super and ANMF Student Award. Following her graduate program, Hollie secured a position in the Peninsula Health Emergency Department, completing a Transition to Specialty Practice Program in 2017, while concurrently completing her Bachelor of Nursing (Honours). Hollie is currently completing her Master of Nursing degree.