Introduction

With the cooperation from the CPD Unit, Ministry of Health, the Nursing Division/Nursing Board Malaysia (NBM) is pleased to present this Continuous Professional Development (CPD) guideline which reviews the activities of registered nurses and midwives in relation to continuing professional development.

Registered nurses and midwives provide the majority of direct care to patients/clients of the health services on a twenty four hour basis. They comprise the largest group of health service workers and as such have great potential to further contribute to population health and help to achieve the goals of the National Health Policy under the leadership of the Ministry of Health Malaysia.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in this context is defined as “a process of lifelong learning aimed at meeting patients’ needs and improving health outcomes by systemic improvement and broadening of knowledge, understanding and skills and the development of personal qualities necessary for the execution of professional duties, including the acquisition of new roles and responsibilities”.

There is a need for CPD in order to maintain professional competence in an environment of numerous challenges, rapid organizational changes, information technology, increasing public expectations and demand for quality and greater accountability. Nurses and Midwives face these challenges of embracing new methods of care delivery which will provide a quality service that is truly patient/client – centered. In ensuring the quality standards of nursing practice in the country, the NBM have taken serious concern regarding continuous professional development activities from a number of aspects namely equity of access, its relevance to practice, and the integration of new knowledge into practice.

Hence, this guideline makes recommendations regarding Continuous Professional Development for nursing personnel who must be developed based on needs assessment and outcome evaluation. The program recommended is relevant to individual practice and help to maintain standards and competence. In addition, it also incorporates group-based activities such as workshops and conferences hence facilitate greater interaction and integration of health professionals.

It is also hoped that this guideline is beneficial for the enhancement of career development and job satisfaction among nurses and midwives hence, enhancement of nursing service provision.