The Health Professions Act (HPA) requires CARNA and all other regulated health profession colleges to develop and administer a continuing competence program for their registrants. Nurses who hold a practice permit must meet the Continuing Competence Program (CCP) requirements in order to call themselves a registered nurse or nurse practitioner. The CCP aims to ensure that nurses maintain their competence and provide safe and competent care to the public.
CARNA has designed the CCP to:
- Support nurses in practising according to standards and competencies.
- Help nurses identify their learning needs.
- Document what nurses do to enhance or address opportunities for growth in their practice.
- Increase the public’s confidence in the nursing profession.
To complete their renewal, nurses must meet these yearly continuing competence requirements:
- Complete a self-assessment of their practice against the practice standards.
- Collect constructive feedback that informs their learning goal.
- Choose a practice standard indicator that relates to their activities.
- Document the date and title of learning activities that meet their goal.
- Describe and rate the impact of the indicator on the learning activities.
- Submit their plan in the online system and keep separate copies of the plan for their own records. Nurses must keep their records from the past five years.
Nurses who do not meet the CCP requirement at renewal will have their permit approved temporarily or conditional to meeting additional requirements.
Learning plan checklist
For a complete walk through of the RN and NP Learning Plan, please refer to the My Learning Plan Instructional Guide in My Learning Space.
Components of the learning plan
Before logging in
Before nurses can start filling in their learning plan for the current practice year, they should:
- Complete a self-assessment against the practice standards for regulated member.
- Collect feedback about their nursing practice that supports what they learned from their self-assessment.
- Optional: Review the My Learning Plan Instructional Guide to learn the format.
Document current nursing role and practice setting
Nurses provide general-level information about their current role so that CARNA can assess whether their learning plan is relevant.
Provide the following information:
- Nursing role
- Currently employed
- Position title
- Practice setting
- Secondary practice setting (optional)
Describing learning needs
Registered nurses assess their own practice against the Practice Standards for Regulated Members (nurse practitioner assesses their own practice with the Entry-Level Competencies for Nurse Practitioners as well).
Nurses collect one instance of constructive feedback that helped inform their learning goals and documents it. The provider must be familiar with the nurse’s current practice area. Feedback must be from the current practice year and dated. Nurses should select the area in their nursing practice they want to focus on improving, based on the feedback received.
Document a learning plan
Choose practice standards indicator
The first step in documenting what nurses do to address opportunities for growth in their practice is selecting a practice standards indicator. This indicator should relate to the feedback nurses collect, and provide the focus for nurses to choose a learning activity to meet their learning goal for the current practice year. Registered nurses select one indicator, from a list of all the practice standards indicators that relates most to their learning goals for the practice year, and the learning activities they completed to meet those goals. Nurse practitioners will document two learning plans; one based on the practice standards indicators, the other on the entry-level competencies.
Nurses should consider the following when choosing a Practice standards indicator to focus their learning plan on:
- Is my learning need achievable?
- What aspects of my learning need are most important for me to focus on?
- What education or training opportunities that support this need are available?
- How do I learn best?
- How will I know I have met my goals and seen a difference in my practice?
After completing a Self-Assessment against each of the Practice Standards for Regulated Members and the Entry-Level Competencies for Nurse Practitioners, NPs must develop one learning plan based on each. The first step in the case of each plan is to select one practice standards indicator or entry-level competency to focus on, as in the manner described above.
Learn more about how each practice standards indicator relates to all domains of nursing practice in the Stand Up for Standards learning module in My Learning Space.
Describe learning activity
When nurses have identified what they want to learn and which Practice standards indicator will be their focus. Nurses document the title and date of the learning activity they completed in support of the standard or competency they chose and the learning need they identified.
Nurses select a learning activity that relates to the insight they have gained from completing their self-assessment and collecting constructive feedback about their practice. The learning activity supports the learning goal related to the Practice Standards for Regulated Members indicator they chose when documenting their learning plan.
- In order to determine whether a learning activity supports the learning plan, nurses should consider:
- Is the activity something outside what they have to do as a regular part of their current nursing position?
- Did the activity help them address the learning need(s) they identified for themselves in their learning plan this year?
- Did the activity help them improve their knowledge, or support them in their practice?
- Did they complete the activity during the current practice year?
If the answer to these questions is yes, the learning activity meets CARNA’s criteria for CCP requirements.
Nurses who have completed one or more learning activities that are not related to their learning plan for this year can record these in their ePortfolio in My Learning Space.
Nurses rate the impact of their chosen standard (or competency) and the learning activity they completed, on their overall nursing practice.
Describe the impact
Nurses expand on how they rated their learning plan’s impact on their practice, explaining what they learned or how their practice changed.
Evaluate the learning plan's effect on nursing practice
In order to increase the public’s confidence in the nursing profession, nurses offer evidence of having engaged in continued professional development and reflect on how this has enhanced their practice and the service they provide to their clients.
When reflecting on their learning plan, nurses use the scale to select which measure accurately reflects how much impact their Self-Assessment, feedback, learning need and learning activity had on their practice.
Nurses then record their observations regarding what exact effect their learning plan had on their practice.
Nurses should consider the following:
- What new knowledge did they gain from completing their learning activity?
- How did that knowledge change their nursing practice?
- How did meeting their learning objective help them implement something new in their practice?
- How did it help them improve something in their practice?
- How did it help them provide better, more competent, ethical or safer patient care?
Nurse practitioner component
In addition to analyzing their practice against each practice standards indicator, NPs must also evaluate their performance using the Entry-Level Competencies for Nurse Practitioners.
The Continuing Competence Program Check-In verifies that registrants are meeting the program requirements. CARNA will randomly select 1% of regulated members applying to renew their practice permit to complete a short, automated questionnaire as part of their learning plan on an annual basis.
If you are selected to participate, you will receive an email notification directing you back into your MyCCP Learning Plan for the current practice year, where you will answer nine multiple-choice (two each) questions. The results are determined based on best possible answer. You will be informed of your results via email. If selected, you must complete the check-in questionnaire before your registration renewal application can be processed.
Competence condition on practice permit
Occasionally, the Competence Committee will issue a time-limited practice permit conditional to meeting further requirements.
Keep a record
Nurses must keep a record of completing their annual Continuing Competence Program requirements for five years, including the current practice year. e.g. a completed self-assessment tool with results, certificate of course completion, a completed feedback collection tool, or a completed performance evaluation.
- Document your self-assessment against the Practice Standards for Regulated Members.
- Make a note of any additional learning activities you completed.
- Record the feedback you collected, who you collected it from, and when.
- Print or make PDF copies of your last five years’ MyCCP to keep in your personal records.
Start next plan on October 1
In order to renew your permit, you only need to complete your Learning Plan for the current practice year Each Learning Plan will become available on the first day of the practice year (October 1st) You can access and work in your Learning Plan throughout the practice year. You can complete and submit your Learning Plan to CARNA at any time throughout the practice year. Just ensure that you complete your Plan and submit it by the time you need to apply and pay to renew your practice permit.
The Competence Committee may consider a nurse’s request for an exemption from meeting CCP requirements on a case by case basis. Members who wish to submit an exemption request should allow additional time for the Committee to receive and review. Review time is variable and the member's permit may expire or permit approval may be delayed if a request is submitted outside of a reasonable time frame.
To request an exemption, contact email@example.com. Include the circumstances or reasons for requesting an exemption. You may be required to provide evidence or further details related to your request.
CARNA – Continuing competence
CARNA – Standards
Stand up for Standards module
Government of Alberta
Health Professions Act (HPA)
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