Education and training opportunities for all nurses and midwives are underpinned by The Framework for Lifelong Learning for Nurses and Midwives (July 2023) [PDF 5770.7 KB]. A variety of opportunities that take many shapes are accessible to both nurses and midwives working for Queensland Health.

Orientation and transition

We have exciting opportunities across all our Hospitals and Health Services (HHS), within a range of specialties, ensuring your career is varied, challenging, and fulfilling. Orientation and transition support processes aim to welcome, support, and prepare new and transferring employees to assimilate into a new workplace, role, or area of responsibility.

Effective orientation and transition support are essential in helping our new starters to successfully:

  • integrate
  • appreciate the culture and values of our organisation
  • provide fundamental information; and to clarify the purpose of their role.

Orientation to role

New and transferring employees to Queensland Health may participate in an orientation program to gain knowledge and appreciation of the HHS, including:

  • general HHS orientation (HHS information including legislative, mandatory, organisational training and assessment)
  • orientation for both nursing and midwifery (mandatory clinical and professional requisite requirements)
  • division/service/program and/or work unit induction (specific requirements and requisite knowledge and skills) with planning commencing to address individual learning and additional transition support processes
  • orientation to the classification or role to distinguish specific responsibilities and role transition activities and/or provide clarity, direction and structure that facilitates career development, succession management and optimise the individual’s scope of practice underpinned by Performance and Development Planning (PDP) processes.

Transition support

Transition support may be offered to transferring staff and is provided for all graduate registered nurses and graduate midwives employed into new graduate programs in Queensland to support a safe and effective transition to practice. Transition may include formal and informal learning opportunities through a range of support roles such as Nursing or Midwifery Educators, Clinical Nurse or Midwife – Clinical Facilitators, preceptors, coaches and/ or practice partners. Methods may include:

  • flexible self-directed learning modules
  • face to face workshops/sessions
  • video/streaming, simulation
  • clinical observation.

Formal transition support programs are available to Queensland Health new graduate registered nurses and midwives, dependent on where you work.

These programs are contemporary, post-registration, clinically focused, continuing professional development programs developed to assist the newly graduated/transferred nurse or midwife to acquire further general and specialty knowledge and skills in a logical, sequenced supported approach to effectively transition to work expectations.

The programs are recognised as an effective approach to accelerate learning, enhance communication and leadership skills, and support the new nurse or midwife with diverse individual learning needs. Likewise, they have been identified as an effective mechanism to expedite an individual’s transition to become confident and competent for practice within a new setting. The programs, which comprise theoretical and clinically focused activities, encourage participants to reflect on their knowledge, skills and abilities and provide a pathway for advancing scope of practice.

Workplace support for participants of these programs may include (but is not limited to): preceptor support and/or coaching from experienced clinicians working in the specialty area with gradual withdrawal of support as the nurse or midwife’s knowledge and skills develop. Additionally, further assistance can be attained through formal and informal mentoring.

In consultation with other key stakeholders, Nurse or Midwifery Educators coordinate, maintain data and report on participant engagement and achievements in these programs. The progress of the nurse or midwife through the transition process is monitored by using the principles of PDP (Personal and Development Plan).

To encourage continuing engagement in a pathway of lifelong learning nurses or midwives who have successfully completed all components of Transition Support Program (TSP) within a specified time frame, are encouraged to apply for advanced standing towards a relevant postgraduate program.

PDP provides a mechanism to negotiate and document individual transition support processes, engagement, and outcomes.

Workplace/on the job learning

In today’s health care context, nurses and midwives need to commit to updating existing knowledge, re-directing old skills, and acquiring new ones. Workplace teaching and learning strategies offered by Queensland Health aim to build capacity and capability and nurture engagement in a positive workplace culture to keep individuals excited about their work.

Workplace learning takes many shapes and is generally in the form of internal training and experience-based learning opportunities through preceptoring, coaching and mentoring. It also includes continuous learning where the work environment is focused on providing opportunities to learn new skills and knowledge.

Clinical learning promotes the acquisition of clinical knowledge, skills, and demonstration of best practice in the clinical workplace. These include (but are not limited to):

  • technical skills (e.g. invasive procedures, fundamental nursing or midwifery skills such as clinical assessment, activities of daily living, interpretation of data, nursing patient care, and for midwives: woman centred midwifery care)
  • non-technical skills (e.g. communication, team interaction)
  • cognitive skills (e.g. decision-making, clinical reasoning, problem solving, critical thinking).

Examples of workplace learning include:

  • action learning
  • coaching from others
  • case studies/presentations
  • clinical audit
  • self-assessment/reflective practice
  • peer review and discussions with colleagues
  • supervising staff or students
  • involvement in wider work of employer (e.g. participation in a committee)
  • acting in higher duty roles
  • work shadowing
  • participating in performance development
  • secondments/locums/job rotation
  • site/department visits
  • ward rounds
  • journal club
  • study groups/special interest groups
  • in-service training
  • role expansion
  • situational analysis of significant events
  • project work or project management
  • quality assurance activities
  • developing pathways, protocols, guidelines and policy.

Self-directed learning

Nurses and midwives are responsible for undertaking self-directed learning and setting their learning goals, identifying resources for learning, and reflecting on and evaluating their learning. By integrating work and learning, the individual acquires, engages, and applies knowledge within the authentic context of work to achieve desired outcomes.

Neither nursing of midwifery practice is restricted to the provision of direct clinical care, but rather extends to any role where a nurse or midwife uses their skills and knowledge to inform and optimise practice to meet role expectations. Therefore, in working towards achieving suitable clinical, professional, and organisational outcomes, Queensland Health promotes a learning environment that assists staff to effectively manage change, supports career development, facilitates remedial education, and promotes self-directed learning.

Examples of self-directed learning include:

  • reading journals/articles
  • conducting evidence-based reviews/literature searches
  • online discussion groups
  • reviewing/editorial of books/articles/professional documents
  • contemporary professional reading through the internet
  • keeping a file of progress.

Professional activities

Professional learning relates to broad professional issues and trends which enhance knowledge, skills, and application to improve individual professional practice and collective professional effectiveness. Incorporation and application of the relevant Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) Codes, Guidelines and Frameworks is essential to optimise professional practice for each nurse and each midwife.

The professional roles of nurses and midwives includes responsibility to share their skills and knowledge with colleagues and students, participate actively in ongoing professional development and contribute to the development of others through teaching and role modelling.

Professional learning can be promoted through a casual piece of advice from a colleague and self-directed reading and/or through attendance at an international conference and exposure to the ideas of a globally recognised educational expert. It can also relate to promoting professional awareness (e.g. maintaining knowledge of professional standards and codes and applying this to practice; briefing about a new policy or initiatives; and application of professional learning into the work unit context), developing skills and embedding and refining new practices.

Queensland Health offer a range of professional education and training opportunities both through Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs run within HHSs and other state divisions:

  • Queensland Health Preceptor Training Program is aimed to support nurses and midwives across Queensland Health to assume the role of preceptor and effectively transition new or transferred employees (preceptees) into the workplace to meet the required performance expectations of their respective professional roles
  • Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer coordinate several leadership forums for nurses and for midwives in Queensland. These forums are an important mechanism for sharing and discussing knowledge, awareness and experience of clinical resource management practices, processes, and tools and to impart knowledge relating to current policies and initiatives. Queensland Health employees can subscribe to a mailing list to receive invitations to relevant forums.
  • Centre for Leadership Excellence design and deliver a range of development programs to enhance the leadership and management capabilities of Queensland Health clinicians at all stages of their career. These programs target a range of clinical and leadership cohorts and offer formalised training opportunities and career pathways.

Examples of professional activities include:

  • professional body membership
  • organisation/participation in journal clubs or specialist interest group activities
  • lecturing or teaching
  • succession management
  • mentoring
  • being a resource person and assessor
  • professional body or college Community of Interest
  • professional/career promotion
  • participating in or chairing a committee or working party
  • giving presentations at conferences
  • undertaking individual assignments
  • organising accredited courses
  • supervising research
  • clinical supervision of colleagues
  • Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council accreditation team member.

Formal education

Proactive participation in career development along a continuum of lifelong learning is fostered and supported by the HHS/facility/directorate and service/work unit. Demonstration of career development should be aligned with the achievement of formal education including achievement of applicable post graduate qualifications.

Queensland Health staff are encouraged to participate in postgraduate programs of study relevant to their classification level or role being fulfilled. For example, it is highly desirable for a nurse or a midwife who is in, or is striving towards, a Nursing or Midwifery Grade 6 position in the Nurses and Midwives (Queensland Health) Award - State 2015 [PDF 883 KB], to hold or be working towards a graduate certificate qualification applicable to the area of practice.

Queensland Health supports staff to identify and acquire the requisite knowledge, skills, attributes, and behaviours to meet specific role expectations, advance their practice and potentially progress to higher levels of education and employment.

To support postgraduate study and attendance at formal education CPD, Queensland Health nurses and midwives (enrolled nurses and above) can access professional development leave as outlined in the Professional Development Package for Nurses and Midwives Grade 3 (Enrolled Nurses) and above policy [PDF 1.3 MB].  Queensland Health nurses and midwives can also apply for financial and leave assistance under the Study and Research Assistance Scheme (SARAS). In addition to this, scholarships and grants are available from a variety of sources.

Examples of formal education include:

  • undertaking courses
  • attending workshops
  • further education
  • undertaking research
  • attending conferences
  • writing articles or papers
  • distance learning/online learning
  • courses accredited by professional body
  • planning or running a course
  • delivering training
  • going to seminars.

Last updated: November 2023