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J Contin Educ Nurs. 2012 Aug;43(8):346-51; quiz 352-3. doi: 10.3928/00220124-20120116-18. Epub 2012 Jan 23.

Moving forward with a clear definition of continuing competence.

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National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses, USA.


In response to the need for a clear definition of continuing competence, a task force of nursing leaders, which included a health care consumer representative, developed a definition of continuing competence. The task force reviewed extensive literature and engaged in thoughtful, directed dialogue. This article describes the process and product of its work, Statement on Continuing Competence in Nursing: A Call to Action. The statement distinguishes between competence and competency, expresses beliefs about continuing competence, defines continuing competence, and calls on stakeholders to work actively to ensure continuing competency in nursing as a method to assure safe patient care.

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