APNA launches new online learning material for practice nurses

APNA, the peak professional association for nurses working in primary health care, has announced the release of three interactive learning modules designed for nurses working in general practice and other primary health care settings.

Launched in October, the additional courses bring to 10 the number of online learning modules currently offered by APNA. The organisation has recently migrated its online training resources to a new technology platform, to allow it to provide more educational material at a lower cost to participants.

The first new interactive online learning module provides primary health care nurses working in a general practice setting with information and knowledge in understanding a palliative approach, practical strategies for implementing a palliative approach within a general practice, and identifying where a palliative approach fits within the Advanced Nursing Competencies. The module runs for two hours and attracts two Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours, with APNA members able to participate for $24.

The second new module provides participants with an understanding of the management of sexually transmissible infections (STIs), and blood borne viruses such as HIV and viral hepatitis, raises awareness of the importance of STI testing, contact tracing, and discussing safe sex and prevention with clients. The module runs for approximately 1.5 hours and attracts CPD hours accordingly. Access to the course material for APNA members costs $21.

A limited number of free places are available to nurses in NSW for both of these online modules through education grants supplied by GP NSW and NSW STI.

The third module deals with solar damage, prevention, and screening. This interactive online module is the first in a five-part series designed to provide nurses with the necessary knowledge and skills for managing patients who are susceptible to solar damage and skin cancer. Nurses undertaking the module will learn how ultraviolet radiation affects the structures and function of the skin, develop skills in identifying high-risk patients, and find out how to implement preventive strategies in their practice. Having attracted sponsorship, this training module is free for all nurses.

APNA has over 3000 members and estimates that around 60% of general practices now employ one or more nurses. According to Steve Webster, General Manager for Programs and Professional Development at APNA, the vast majority of practices employ nurses on a casual or part-time basis, which often makes it difficult for nurses to travel to attend continuing professional development events. In recognition of the particular needs of this nursing workforce, APNA has been providing online learning material since 2006, with some courses, such as a module on influenza prevention, having been undertaken by over 1600 participants since March this year.

Mr Webster indicated that most of the current online training modules in the APNA library present between one and two hours worth of material. However more detailed training is also offered, including a diabetes management module which generally takes participants between 14-16 hours to complete. The online nature of the course delivery allows attendees to work through the material at their own pace, as they are able pause and resume course work at any time.

The organisation currently has 19 additional online learning courses in development, with material on Immunisation, Basic Pharmacology, IV Cannulation and General Practice scheduled to be released in the near future.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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