|dc.description.abstract||Background: The Professional Development and Recognition Programme (PDRP) is a national model of nursing career progression in New Zealand (NZ), based on the Benner “Novice to Expert” model (1984). To progress on the PDRP a nurse presents a professional portfolio containing evidence of performance, professional development, and involvement in quality and education for assessment against standards based on the Competencies for Registered Nurses (National PDRP Working Party, 2005). New Zealand District Health Boards (DHBs) all have PDRPs accredited by the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ) as a measure of competence under the Health Practitioners Competency Assurance Act (HPCA Act, 2003, NCNZ 2009). The PDRP is also recognised in the national wage and conditions agreement, where special leave and financial entitlements are given to Proficient and Expert nurses (DHBs/NZNO, 2007). Nursing PDRP participation rates have been low and this has been attributed to nationally diverse processes and excessive documentation (PDRP Evidential Requirements Working Party, 2009).
Aim: This research was conducted to ascertain what nurses knew about the PDRP and what nurses’ opinions were, of the programme. Ideas were sought in order to shape the programme and improve participation in the future.
Method: This mixed-method cross-sectional survey was undertaken in late 2008 at a large DHB. A random sample of 20% of the 1128 nurses were selected to receive a written questionnaire and 42% were completed and returned (n=95). The questionnaire contained four sections: a knowledge quiz to assess what nurses knew about the development, process and quality measures of the PDRP; a series of Likert scales to assess attitudes towards the PDRP; a section for comments and ideas; and a short demographic assessment, including nursing qualifications and PDRP Level. The tool had previously been validated in two New Zealand studies (Carryer, Budge, & Russell, 2002; Carryer, Russell, & Budge, 2007).
Results: Many nurses did not know the origins of the PDRP and while a majority understood the process, three-quarters of respondents agreed there should be more support to complete a portfolio. Younger, tertiary-trained nurses were more likely to progress on the PDRP than those with more years of nursing experience and fewer formal qualifications. Participants displayed modestly positive attitudes towards the PDRP and 62% of those who had presented portfolios for progression (n=52) agreed that the process was worthwhile. Over a quarter of participants stated that the PDRP process involved excessive written documentation and half of participants felt that there were too many barriers to PDRP participation, such as time, workloads and limited academic skills. There was, however, widespread support for individual professional accountability and a desire for learning opportunities.
Conclusion: Nurses would like greater support to participate in the PDRP, but not at the expense of nursing care delivery or family life. Streamlining the process and building closer links between the PDRP, postgraduate education, and clinical care would increase the relevance for nurses working clinically. Attention to these features may increase participation in the PDRP and promote nursing career development in the future.||en_NZ