Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development > Vol. 5, No. 2 (2008)

Primary and Community Health Nursesí perception of evidence needed to demonstrate that their clinical practice meets the ANMC competencies.

Sandra Walker, CQU
Shirley Godfrey

Abstract

In Australia all registered nurses are required to meet the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC) Competencies. These are the base level that all registered nurses must meet when delivering care to clients. This study explored generalist primary and community health nursesí perception of the evidence they believe necessary to demonstrate that their nursing practice meets the ANMC competencies. Eleven generalist primary and community health nurses working in a large regional city in Queensland were recruited to take part in the study. A combined interview and questionnaire was used to collect the data. The questionnaire responses were analysed using percentages, while the interview transcripts were analysed by content analysis. The results of the study showed that many of the participants had little knowledge of the ANMC competencies with some struggling to explain how they measure their performance beyond clinical task skill and mandatory training attendance. Participants also grappled with the inclusion of organisational obligations, tasks and skill sets when attempting to define how they demonstrate that their practice meets the ANMC competencies. However participants identified strongly with clinical supervision, peer/team feedback and reports/documents as major ways in which they demonstrate meeting the ANMC competencies. The results of the study showed a need for further education as to the value of the ANMC competencies to nursing practice, generated valuable information to assist primary and community health nurses prepare for performance appraisals and identified key factors that managers of community health nurses need to be aware of when assessing staff performance.

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