In the past decades a lot has changed concerning accreditation for nurses. In some countries continued education is a condition to maintain your licence as a registered nurse. In October 2020, the EAUN asked national urology nurses societies to complete a questionnaire to see what the current situation was in their country, and see if the EU-ACNE system (The European Urology – Accredited Continued Nursing Education) would fit their current environment and be useful.
Highlights from the survey results
In which countries is continuing education mandatory and in which countries is it voluntary? CPD/CE is mandatory in four countries (Italy, Romania, Serbia and Turkey), and voluntary in three countries (Finland, Spain, Sweden). Two countries stated it was partly voluntary and partly mandatory, and two other countries stated that it depended on the exact profession and credentials. However, the authority that decides on the requirements differs considerably. In three countries that responded it is the ministry, and for two countries it is the government. Other countries stated their professional society or the hospital or employer authorised the nursing licence requirements. The renewal of the license/registration as a nurse is sometimes linked to the requirements of continued learning (Italy, Romania, Serbia), but in many other countries this is not (for every urology nurse) the case (Finland, Malta, Netherlands, Turkey, Spain, Sweden).
Does continuing professional development or continuing education requirements for nurses exist in your country? 12 out of the 16* societies that responded to our questionnaire confirmed that continuing professional development (CPD) or continuing education (CE) requirements exist for nurses in their country. The countries where continuing education is required are Australia, Finland, Iran, Italy, Malta, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey. Three other countries confirmed that these requirements did not exist but they were interested in accrediting their societies events. These findings highlight that in the majority of countries a nursing licence or registration renewal is linked to gaining credit points or other continued learning obligations. Therefore, ensuring the accessibility and standardisation of accreditation points becomes vital in enhancing nursing practice.
Does your national accreditation system award credit points? The majority of countries have a national accreditation system that awards credit points: Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Serbia and Spain. In Sweden they partly award credit points and in Australia and Malta they don’t.
Do you think it will be useful for you if the EAUN developed a platform in which you can have your society’s events accredited? 81% of national nurses societies agreed that an EAUN developed accreditation system would be useful. No respondents gave a negative response to this idea.
Would a web based portfolio in which you can register all your CPD activities be useful to your members? Ten countries responded that a web based portfolio in which you can register all your CPD/CE activities would be useful. Four countries were unsure if a web based portfolio was necessary. Since 2022 national societies that are a group member of EAUN can now offer their members this service at no additional cost.
The results of the survey concluded that there was a significant need and interest for the development of a unified and standardised accreditation system for nurses. This gave the EAUN the motivation to take action by initiating the design of a robust accreditation system for nursing education within the EU-ACME framework.
By Noa Schlief and Stephanie Fitts