Council creates barriers to practice.
In February, I was one of the five percent of nurses audited by the Nursing Council during renewal of my annual practising certificate (APC (1) (American Power Conversion Corporation, West Kingston, RI, www.apcc.com) The leading manufacturer of UPS systems and surge suppressors, founded in 1981 by Rodger Dowdell, Neil Rasmussen and Emanual Landsman, three electronic power engineers who had worked at MIT. ). After spending a full day of my own time preparing the required documentation, I duly sent it away. It was a surprise to me, after 25 years of practice, to be told I was not competent and that I would not have my APC renewed until I sent in two new performance appraisals Performance appraisal, also known as employee appraisal, is a method by which the performance of an employee is evaluated (generally in terms of quality, quantity, cost and time). . So I spent another full day of my own time organising the required documentation.
It took two months after my APC had expired ex·pire
v. ex·pired, ex·pir·ing, ex·pires
1. To come to an end; terminate: My membership in the club has expired.
2. to have it finally renewed. This highlights some of the issues surrounding sur·round
tr.v. sur·round·ed, sur·round·ing, sur·rounds
1. To extend on all sides of simultaneously; encircle.
2. To enclose or confine on all sides so as to bar escape or outside communication.
n. the Council's Continuing Competency COMPETENCY, evidence. The legal fitness or ability of a witness to be heard on the trial of a cause. This term is also applied to written or other evidence which may be legally given on such trial, as, depositions, letters, account-books, and the like.
2. Framework. Contrary to what the Council initially concluded, I am a competent nurse and pride myself on ensuring a high standard of practice. Portfolios do not accurately reflect a nurse's level of competence. Preparing the documentation is very time consuming. I work two days a week in busy and acute areas, study part-time and am the sole parent of three young children. Who has time to spend on appeasing ap·pease
tr.v. ap·peased, ap·peas·ing, ap·peas·es
1. To bring peace, quiet, or calm to; soothe.
2. To satisfy or relieve: appease one's thirst.
3. the Nursing Council? Does the Council not realise there is a nursing shortage? Creating barriers to practice will drive nurses away, as many of us are working mothers and have many roles to balance.
Nursing is a demanding job, not just physically and mentally, but also to ensure our practice is current and safe. Now we see nurses being litigated against. Nurses need support, not barriers and extra demands placed on them. The Council needs to recognise the reality of working in today's environment and should review its current approach to evaluating nurses' competence.
Cecelia van Hassel-O'Brien, RN, Timaru