Thank you to the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia for permission to adapt their case study.
Rachel, a public health nurse, often runs immunization clinics for infants and children. Lately, she has been asked a lot of tough questions about vaccines and their side effects.
She's also had long discussions with parents who are considering whether or not to immunize their child. Some questions catch her off guard. She decides she needs more information to better understand and answer these questions.
Rachel does some research about vaccine safety and common concerns of parents on several websites including the Public Health Agency of Canada and Alberta Health. She locates a nationally-recognized resource that would be suitable to share with parents. Later, she checks with her employer to see if she can provide it to parents who have questions.
The next time Rachel is asked a tough question she can readily share the information to better assist parents in their decision-making. After checking in with a few parents, Rachel is satisfied to hear that they think the additional information is helpful and appreciate receiving it. Rachel shares her approach with her colleagues, who decide to use the resource across the team.
Through identifying and addressing a learning need, Rachel is engaging in continuing competence.
Nurses are life-long learners who continually assess and improve their practice. To help accomplish this, CARNA’s Continuing Competence Process guides reflection on day-to-day practice. Nurses then identify professional development opportunities based on their individual needs.
These professional development opportunities form the basis of a plan that guides the continuing competence activities nurses undertake. The activities occur every day and throughout the year in practice situations. Meeting this obligation is an important way to promote high practice standards and maintain the public's trust in registered nurses.