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Nursing Education Programs

  • Nursing Education Programs

    Recognising & Responding to the Deteriorating Child Workshop

    Career Advancement Year Program

    RCH staff only programs

    Preceptorship Workshop

    First Three Minutes Program

    First Three Minutes Train the Trainer Program

    Information for new staff

    Nursing Orientation

    Clinically essential competencies

    Nursing Competency Framework

    Recognising & Responding to the Deteriorating Child Workshop  

    External registrations for the 15th of May are now open via Eventbrite

    The Recognising & Responding to the Deteriorating Child Workshop is a one-day, interactive program.

    We will explore the role of the health professional in recognising and responding to a deteriorating paediatric patient, focusing on case studies and incorporating skill stations and a simulation.

    The workshop explores common paediatric presentations requiring intervention and is the equivalent of 8 CPD hours. Sessions follow the structured approach of the DRSABCD algorithm including airway management, chest compressions, defibrillation, intraosseous insertion and medications, and fluid management. The simulation is based on our 'First 3 Minutes' program and will focus on human factors around 'first responder' priorities, drawing on the skills and knowledge attained within the workshop.

    This program is suitable for nursing, medical and allied health professionals who wish to further develop their knowledge and skills in paediatric assessment and management, in response to a deteriorating child.

    It is highly recommended that participants have successfully completed a Paediatric Basic Life Support competency assessment within the six months prior to attending this workshop. All attendees will also be expected to complete pre-reading prior to participating.

    Please note we require a minimum of 10 participants for this program. In the event that there are fewer registrations that this, the event will be cancelled and you will be issued a refund.

    Changes in access and restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic may result in this workshop being changed to a virtual format. In this instance you will be contacted with further details and the cost of your registration will be reduced.

    Internal Participants

    • To check availability and register please go to Recognising and Responding to the Deteriorating Patient on Learning HERO.

    External Participants

    • To check availability and register for the Monday 12th May please register via Eventbrite.

    Career Advancement Year Program

    The CAY is a 12-month program with two clinical placements*, each six months in duration. The program is scheduled to commence Monday 5 June 2023, with a planned rotation to the second clinical placement on Monday 4 December 2023. 

    Program Aims

     The program aims to provide an opportunity for nurses at The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) to:

    • Extend their paediatric nursing skills and knowledge through exposure to other paediatric specialties by gaining experience on different clinical units
    • Gain an organisational perspective to nursing at RCH
    • Contribute to the overall RCH vision of a world where all kids thrive

    Program Outline

    As existing RCH nurses, participants will have two supernumerary days per clinical placement. There will be one study day at the commencement of the program and a maximum of two-unit specific days per clinical placement. In addition, participants will have access to clinical supervision sessions throughout the program. Participants will be contracted to a minimum of 0.6EFT for the duration of the program.

    Program Outcome

    By completing the CAY, participants will develop: 

    • advanced paediatric assessment knowledge and skills  
    • advanced care planning and organisation skills 
    • critical thinking skills  
    • reflective practice 
    • an increased knowledge of nursing at an organisational level 


    Nurses must have a minimum of one-year of paediatric nursing experience at The Royal Children’s Hospital.  

    How to Apply 

    Application is via Expressions of Interest (EoI) to your Nurse Unit Manager (NUM). 

    Nurses interested in participating in the CAY program should discuss this with their Nurse Unit Manager before completing and submitting the EoI application form. NUM will also complete a nomination form and submit it to Nursing Education for consideration. 

    If a large number of applications are received, interviews may be conducted. 

    *Participants will not be asked to submit a preference for clinical placement locations. Decisions regarding clinical placements will be made by the Nursing Education team and Nurse Unit Mangers make to ensure that there is a similar skill mix rotating across clinical areas.  

    Key Dates

    • Expressions of Interest Open - Monday 6th February 2023
    • Expressions of Interest Close - Sunday 19th February 2023
    • NUM Nomination Form/s submitted by - Friday 3rd March 2023
    • Outcome Notification - April 2023
    • Program Start Date - Monday 5th June 2023


    If you have any queries regarding the Career Advancement Year program please contact Nursing Education via or on 9345 6716.

    Preceptorship Workshop (Internal Only)

     This interactive workshop provides strategies for managing the practical aspects of preceptorship. 

    Workshop aim

    To assist in developing skills to support new nurses, undergraduate nurses and graduate nurses to transition into a new area of practice.

    Target audience

    Suitable for registered and enrolled nurses working as a preceptor or interested in becoming a preceptor.

    Workshop description

    The Preceptorship Workshop is an eight hour study day commencing at 0800 and concluding by 1615. In addition to the study day it is a requirement that participants complete the online learning packages. Facilitators foster an interactive learning environment and active participation on behalf of the learner is required. Nurses completing the Preceptorship Workshop will receive 12 hours Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours which included 4 hours online learning and 8 hours in-class learning.

    Content includes but is not limited to:

    • Clinical Teaching Methods
    • Assessing performance
    • Constructive Communication

    To check availability and register please go to Preceptorship Workshop on Learning HERO 


    First Three Minutes Program (Internal only)

    The 'First 3 Minutes' Program provides Basic Life Support training, including skills and knowledge as well as team scenario for multidisciplinary teams. This training allows practical engagement within the clinical environment, comprising team members of your clinical area, to mimic experience of 'real time' response to a deteriorating or unresponsive patient.

    This course will run for 1 hour and will incorporate anaphylaxis training. Bookings are available on Mondays and Wednesdays between 10am-12pm or Thursdays between 2-4pm.

    Please email to secure a booking for your team.

    First Three Minutes - Train the Trainer Workshop (Internal only)

    The First Three Minutes Train the Trainer Workshop is a four hour workshop, commencing at 0800 hours and concluding by 1230 hours.

    To train competent assessors in the "First Three Minutes" (previously known as Basic Life Support Assessors) who facilitate the training and assessments of staff at the RCH.

    Successfully completion of the workshop will enable an individual to:

    • Explain the roles and responsibilities of an assessor 
    • Discuss the key principles of assessment and feedback
    • Describe the assessment processes at RCH
    • Conduct scenario based assessments according to the standard outlined in your assessment sheet 
    • Outline the process for management of an assessment where the individual is deemed not yet competent
    • Identity paediatric first three minutes best practice 



    •  Be a Registered Nurse, with minimum classification Clinical Nurse Specialist
    • Have successfully completed your online learning and practical assessment within preceding six months 
    • Be available to assess on a monthly basis

    Other health professionals:

    • Have successfully completed the online learning and practical assessment within preceding six months

    Places are limited and your place is not finalised until you receive a confirmation email.  

    Please note that the First Three Minutes – Train the Trainer Workshop will be cancelled if less than seven participants register to attend. 

    To check availability and register please go to First Three Minutes Train the Trainer on Learning HERO.

    New to RCH nursing?

    All nurses new to RCH will attend an EMR training session, nursing orientation day, hospital orientation day and any area specific orientation requirements.   All new employees will automatically be booked into the orientation sessions that falls closest to their start date by Human Resources (hospital orientation) and their respective nursing team (all other days). 

    If you are returning to RCH (eg maternity or LSL) and have yet to complete an EMR training session, you will be required to attend a role specific session at re-commencement.  These courses usually occur twice per month and your start date will be scheduled to facilitate your attendance.  Please note that access to the EMR cannot be granted until you attend a training session. 

    1. Nursing orientation

    Nursing Orientation is an eight hour study day at The Royal Children's Hospital commencing at 0800 hours and concluding by 1630 hours. The aim of the Nursing Orientation program is to welcome and introduce nurses to caring for infants, children and adolescents at The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH). Content includes but is not limited to:

    The practical component of the Basic Life Support competency is assessed during the study day, therefore it is a requirement that attendees complete the pre-reading prior to the study day. This will be sent out as an attachment to the email confirming registration for the study day.

    2023 Program dates

    • Tuesday 7 February 
    • Tuesday 7 March
    • Tuesday 4 April
    • Tuesday 2 May
    • Tuesday 6 June
    • Tuesday 4 July
    • Tuesday 8 August
    • Tuesday 5 September
    • Tuesday 3 October
    • Tuesday 14 November
    • Tuesday 5 December

    Please note:  Dates listed are subject to change due to room availability and participant numbers.

    Nurse Unit Managers (NUM) and Clinical Support Nurses (CSN)/ Clinical Nurse Educators (CNE) can register a nurse new to their team to attend a Nursing Orientation study day by emailing the following details of the nurse:

    • Full Name
    • Employee Number
    • Professional email contact

    Confirmation will be emailed to the attendee, NUM and CSN/ CNE.

    2. EMR orientation session

    All new nurses and those returning from extended leave for the first time since EMR implementation, will be required to attend an EMR teaching session. Nurses can be directly registered for EMR training on Learning HERO by their local nursing education team members. 

    Managers - please note that if EMR classes are full, additional places can be negotiated so that recruitment is not delayed for clinically essential roles.

    Please see Learning Hero for dates and bookings.

    3. New starter orientation (The RCH orientation)

    New starter orientation is facilitated by Human Resources. This study day session is mandatory for all new staff members at RCH. Nurses will attend this day, an EMR session, and Nursing Orientation. All new employees will automatically be booked into the new starter orientation session that falls closest to their start date by Human Resources. New staff members will usually be advised of this before they start and an email reminder will be sent to their RCH email and their direct manager. 

    4. Area specific orientation

    Orientation to your new workplace is facilitated by the area specific Clinical Support Nurse and/or Nurse Educator and may vary depending on specialty and complexity. This may include a period of focused supernumerary time, completion of clinical and non-clinical competencies and also achievement of organizational requirements.

    Nurses in Advanced Practice roles, Management, Research or Education roles will have their orientation coordinated by their respective line manager.

    Clinically essential competencies


    Nursing Basic Life Support 
    (RCH Level 2)

    Annual requirement
    Successful completion of the online and practical components are required annually

    1. Basic Life Support – Infant and Child eLearning module via Learning HERO
    2. Skills assessment
    3. Simulation
    2 Medication Awareness Competency

    All nurses new to the RCH required to administer medications are expected to complete both the online and practical components


    Nurses are required to have all medications double checked until they have successfully completed the medication competency

    1. Medication Awareness Package – eLearning module via Learning HERO
    2. Knowledge and skills assessment, chapter 2 of the Nursing Competency Workbook (page 10)
    3. Nurses may also be asked to complete a unit specific medication package which could be paper based or via Learning HERO
    3 Smart Move Smart Lift (SMSL)

    Annual requirement
    Successful completion of both the online and practical components are required annually

    1. Smart Move Smart Life Patient Manual Handling – eLearning module via Learning HERO
    2. Practical assessment of patient manual handling as outlined by the RCH SMSL Competency Assessment Tool
    4 Emergency Procedures Annual requirement

    Emergency RACE Response -eLearning module via Learning HERO 

    5 Infection Control Annual requirement

    Infection Control: Hand Hygiene – eLearning module via Learning HERO 

    Nursing competency workbook

    The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) Nursing Competency Framework outlines the characteristics of a competent nursing workforce that guide safe neonatal, child and adolescent nursing practice. All nurses working at the RCH participate in the Nursing Competency Framework with the intention that an organisational wide approach supports excellence in clinical nursing practice. An RCH Nursing Competency Workbook provides a detailed overview of the Nursing Competency Framework and includes many of the tools and resources to support the attainment and demonstration of competence.

    Components of the RCH Nursing Competency Framework


    Familiarisation is a specified period of induction, orientation and supernumerary time that enables nursing staff to adapt efficiently to a new work environment. A ten week familiarisation period, individualised with respect to previous nursing experience is provided. During familiarisation support and guidance is provided to demonstrate the necessary capability to deliver safe care. Goal setting using the Professional Development & Achievement Plan (PDAP) will be completed by the end of the 10 week period.

    The familiarisation period is formally concluded and evaluated at ten weeks with the Manager, involving input from the preceptor. The review at 10 weeks includes:

    Supernumerary time

    Supernumerary time allows for workload sharing with a preceptor and time away from direct patient care for orientation and additional learning. Supernumerary time is allocated by the Nurse Unit Manager (NUM)/Manager during the ten week familiarisation period and may vary for each nurse. Additional information for Nurse Unit Managers/Managers and forms for approval of supernumerary time are available:  Supernumerary time approval form and instructions


    A preceptor is formally assigned to assist with transition to a new practice setting. The preceptor serves as an educator and role model and assists socialisation into the team. The RCH Preceptorship Model provides more detail of preceptorship at the RCH.

    Demonstration of competence

    A range of strategies may be employed to determine and demonstrate competence with regards to knowledge, skills and the essence of nursing. Within the RCH Nursing Competency Framework these strategies include.


    Self-assessment has traditionally played a large part in determining competence for nurses in Australia. Opportunities for documenting reflection and self-assessment are built in to the RCH Nursing Competency Framework in the Feedback and Reflections form associated with each Nursing Competency Assessment Form and in the PDAP. The Professional Practice Portfolio (PPP) can also be used for capturing self-assessment.

    Observations of practice

    Observation provides an opportunity for demonstration and assessment of practice. Many of the nursing competency assessment forms developed for the RCH Nursing Competency Framework include having practice evaluated through observation.

    Discussion / Questioning / Interviewing

    In completing the nursing competency assessment forms, the dating and signing of some competency elements by an assessor provides evidence of conversations that have been held in which competence has been demonstrated. The Professional Practice Portfolio (PPP) and Performance Development and Assessment Program (PDAP) document also provide opportunity for to capture evidence of discussions in which competence has been demonstrated.

    Learning packages / quizzes

    There are many packages available to assist in learning and demonstration of competence. Examples of these include Emergency Procedures, Medication Administration, and Central Venous Access Devices. The RCH Nursing Competency Handbook, TrendCare and PPP are examples of where documentation of satisfactory completion of learning packages might occur.

    Professional Practice Portfolio (PPP)

    The PPP is a tool that enables communication to the individual and others regarding learning plans, achievements, professional development, performance capability and competency based on collated evidence. There is no single way in which a PPP should be put together.

    An example of a PPP is available here: 

    Continuing professional development

    Participation in continuing professional development (CPD) is a widely accepted method for measuring and demonstrating ongoing nursing competence. It is a requirement of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia that nurses participate in at least 20 hours of CPD each year and that documentation of participation will include dates, a brief description of the outcomes, and the number of hours for each activity. In addition all evidence of CPD should be verified.

    A template for recording CPD can be found here (this needs to be a link to a document)

    Further detail regarding the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s registration standard can be found here (this needs to be a link to another website)

    You can also find answers to some frequently asked questions relating to CPD here (this needs to be a link to another website)

    The RCH provides a wide variety of ongoing educational opportunities including in-service education, study days, workshops, seminars and short courses. Most nursing education is coordinated through the Nursing Education team and for more opportunities please view the education calendar.

    Performance and Development Assessment Program (PDAP)

    The PDAP is a continuous process conducted over a 12 month period, which reflects on past performance and focuses on future outcomes. The PDAP is based on two principles:

    1. What we do (KPI's) AND how we do it (values and behaviours)

    2. Managers/supervisors and their staff:
      1. Working together to achieve desired outcomes
      2. Communicating openly
      3. Providing regular feedback to each other and
      4. Formally reviewing individual performance at least twice per year.

    The PDAP tool is dynamic document that should be used from the commencement of employment to record KPIs and a development plan.