Module 1: Professional Accountability and Prescribing

Lesson 2

Maintenance of Professional Competence

Continuing competence refers to the ongoing ability of nurses to integrate and apply evidence-based knowledge, skills, judgment and personal attributes in their practice settings (Canadian Nurses Association, 2004, Promoting continuing competence for registered nurses).  Nurses are expected to engage in lifelong learning in order to maintain their competence and optimize patient care outcomes. Each professional regulatory college/association in Canada requires nurses to participate in a continuing competence program to maintain licensure.  This means that with the increased responsibility in the use of CDS in practice, NPs are responsible to seek additional knowledge to maintain their fitness to practice (CNA, 2008 Code of Ethics, p. 18).