A new Child and Adolescent Clinical Accreditation Program has been developed for nurses working at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Sydney Children’s Hospital. The program will be recognised for credit towards the UTS Graduate Certificate in Children's Nursing.
Clinical Accreditation Programs (CAP)
Since 1997, various New South Wales metropolitan Area Health Services (AHS), have developed and established postgraduate Clinical Accreditation Programs (CAP) in a variety of specialty areas.
CAP consist of structured, clinically based programs within the associated AHS and affiliated hospitals, based on relevant professional nursing specialty standards and competencies and organizational requirements for the development of specialty nursing practice.
Based on theories of reflective practice, work based learning and lifelong learning, participants undertake a number of learning and assessment activities that include the planning and development of an individual portfolio that captures their learning, development of expertise in the specialty, professional development and reflection on learning during the course of CAP.
Evaluation of CAP to date indicates that CAP contributes to the development of competent specialist nurses who provided high quality care (Matiuk, Hamlin & Fagan, 2005).
Currently, a number of CAP programs are offered in conjunction with the Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) whereby successful CAP participants are given advanced standing in related Graduate Certificate Programs.
New Child and Adolescent CAP
Australia is faced with workforce shortages of specialist nurses, including those who work with children. In the current nursing shortage, specialty postgraduate qualifications are rarely an essential prerequisite to employment as a registered nurse in a specialty area, such as children’s nursing, and once employed there may be limited perceived need to obtain specialist qualifications.
Subsequently, recent collaboration between nurse educators at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick has led to the development of the Child and Adolescent Clinical Accreditation Program.
The Child and Adolescent CAP will support the development of clinical competence and expertise in the care of infants, children & young people in acute settings particularly through working with children, young people and families and providing developmentally appropriate approaches to nursing care.
Within children’s nursing practice in NSW, there is a movement toward the implementation and evaluation of practice development strategies to support the development of critical reflection by nurses and promote person centered approaches to nursing care. The Child and Adolescent CAP utilises features of practice development both in terms of program content and approaches to teaching and learning.
The Child and Adolescent CAP was recently successfully submitted to the Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health at UTS for review and subsequently CAP participants who complete the assessment will be granted advanced standing in the Graduate Certificate in Children’s Nursing at UTS.
The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
University of Technology, Sydney, Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health
Nurse Manager, Professional and Educational Development Service
Sydney Children’s Hospital
Matiuk, S., Hamlin, L. & Fagan, A. 2005, 'Nursing practice to inform learning: the Clinical Accreditation Program', Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, vol. 37, no. 6, pp. 310-311.