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Nurs Prax N Z. 2002 Nov;18(3):30-9.

Defining currency of practice for nurse educators.

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  • 1Department of Nursing and Health Studies Manukau Institute of Technology, Auckland.


Recent Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ) guidelines for competence-based practising certificates (NCNZ, 2001) and the fact that all nurse educators must have a current practising certificate prompted the Nursing Schools within the Tertiary Accord of New Zealand (TANZ) to explore issues surrounding current competency in practice and how this can be maintained by nurse educators. This is a topical debate as discussions related to competence-based practising certificates generally refer to competence only in terms of direct patient care. This article sets out to clarify the issue with specific reference to nurse educators who, by the nature of their scope of practice, often do not carry a patient caseload. The literature relating to currency of practice is explored to provide background to current definitions and existing strategies for maintaining competence. This article draws on the findings of a survey by the TANZ Nursing Schools and provides a position on how currency of practice applies to nurses working in educational settings. In addition, strategies to maintain clinical, teaching and scholarly currency are presented along with suggestions for providing evidence that currency of practice is maintained.

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