Mandatory continuing professional development requirements: what does this mean for Australian nurses
Springer Science and Business Media LLC -- BMC Nursing
DOI 10.1186/1472-6955-12-9
  1. Mandatory continuing professional development
  2. Nursing registration
  3. Australia
  4. Education
  5. Clinical practice


This paper presents a discussion related to the recent decision in Australia to introduce mandatory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for nurses. Historically there has been international debate surrounding mandatory CPD requirements; this debate is ongoing as Australian nurses face a diverse range of CPD offerings from a variety of providers.


The purpose of this paper is to examine how mandatory CPD requirements for national nursing registration in Australia have evolved and to present an analysis of what this will mean for Australian nurses. What is yet to be determined is how to measure professional development and the effectiveness of professional development education. This is important to the international community with consensus in the literature that professional development is linked to ongoing education. Contradicting arguments are presented about whether this professional development should be mandatory.


Presenting a contemporary discussion about the current and potential impact of mandatory CPD requirements for nurses, this discussion paper utilises the case of Australia’s current national policy and CPD operation to examine the choices that nurses make in order to fulfil their legislative requirements. Additional arguments are presented about the barriers nurses face in undertaking CPD. The quest for effective CPD is complex and should incorporate different situations for nurses and individual learning styles.