Rapid technological advances, discoveries and new treatment protocols, health sector reforms and standards of practice are continually evolving and require that nurses and midwives have career-long opportunities to learn in order to maintain competency and meet the health needs of the populations they serve.

In Swaziland, where HIV prevalence is high, as well as maternal mortality rates, and nurses and midwives are the gateway to care, the Ministry of Health conducted a needs assessment to understand the learning needs of nurses and midwives and identify ways in which their training in maternal and neo-natal child health might strengthen their role.

ICAP began working with the Swaziland Nursing Council in 2010 to launch the Continued Professional Development (CPD) initiative to strengthen the capacity of nurses and midwives and improve maternal health services.

Through this partnership, ICAP has created a database that will support the Swaziland Nursing Council in implementing the CPD model. The database has contributed to several advancements, including the development of a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework to define the CPD variables, track nurses’ continuing professional development courses, ensure consistent registration and renewal of licensure, promote opportunities for career pathway mobility, and maintain accurate information on the status of the current Swaziland nursing workforce.

In July, ICAP is supporting the Swaziland Nursing Council by working on an implementation plan for Continued Professional Development with a focus on database maintenance and mentoring for CPD data collection. The CPD database has played a critical role in helping the Swaziland Nursing Council to determine its strategic plan for ongoing professional support and learning opportunities for nurses and midwives that are based on current and accurate information, ultimately contributing to improving the standards of midwifery care in Swaziland.

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