All nurses registered in the General and Extended Classes are required to complete their Self-Assessment every year. Self-Assessment is a self-directed, two-part process that results in a Learning Plan.
Through the process of self-assessment, you identify your areas of strength and learning needs.
Registered Nurses (RNs) and Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) are required to develop two learning goals each year based on their learning needs. Nurse Practitioners (NPs) must develop three learning goals. Once you have a learning goal, choose the CNO practice document it relates to. Each goal may relate to the same practice document or two different ones.
Part 1: Practice Reflection
Reflection is a powerful skill that helps you grow and learn. It’s an intentional process of identifying your strengths, areas for improvement and learning needs.
Begin by analyzing a situation or change in your practice. For example, a situation that seemed significant to you; critical incidents; or changes in evidence, policy or legislation. Ask yourself questions to explore your actions, feelings and knowledge.
Taking the time to explore a situation or change will help you to identify your strengths and areas for improvement.
Next, gather input from a peer whom you trust and who is familiar with your role as a nurse. Peer input offers an objective perspective and validates your strengths and areas for improvement.
Consider your areas for improvement and peer input to help you determine your learning needs. Learning needs are what you can do to improve in your practice.
Areas for improvement + peer input = learning needs
Need more help to reflect? Use the College’s Practice Reflection worksheet in myQA.
Part 2: Developing and maintaining a Learning Plan
After identifying your learning needs, you must develop learning goals based on those needs.
For example, if you need to learn about current stroke assessment best practices, you would develop a learning goal based on this topic to improve your assessment skills.
Once you have a learning goal, you choose the CNO practice document it relates to. Each goal may relate to the same practice document or to different ones.
Your Learning Plan is evidence of the activities you did to help you maintain your competence as a nurse. You are expected to update your Learning Plan regularly and keep it for two years.
Learning Activities are the activities you will undertake to enhance or further develop your knowledge on the topic of your goals. Examples of learning activities are:
- Taking a specific course
- Attending a specific in-service
- Reviewing specific organization policy
- Being mentored
- Reviewing specific literature
- Reviewing specific Best Practice guidelines
- Being supervised
- Role playing
See the Developing SMART Learning Goals guide for more information about how to develop a Learning Plan