The mission of the ERPC emphasizes professional expertise, consultation, communication, and education to meet the needs of perinatal/neonatal health professionals and institutions within its 40 county service area. The reduction of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality and the improvement of the health of mothers and infants are the ultimate goals Continuing and outreach education is mandated by the state as a part of the designation of a regional center and the ERPC supports such education as one way to fulfill its mission and goals.
Purpose, Philosophy. and Goals
The purpose of the educational unit of the ERPC is to provide continuing and outreach education for registered nurses and other health professionals in north Georgia based on the needs of the individual and the changing patterns of health care delivery that impact on perinatal/neonatal care. In accordance, we hold to the philosophy that:
1.Each mother and her infant is entitled to receive effective, efficient, considerate, and safe care.
2. Such care can only be provided by health professional who have the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
3. Continuing and outreach education is one mechanism for promoting and enhancing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes for the support of competence in practice and quality of care.
4. Continuing and outreach education is an integral pan of (lie change process, providing an opportunity for the individual to actively prepare for and respond to change.
5. Continuing and outreach education are separate and distinct from staff development, in-service education, and orientation,
6. The development of educational opportunities should be based on accepted adult learning principles and the recognition of the individual's autonomy and self-direction, life experiences, readiness to learn, and problem‑orientation to learning.
7, As self‑-directed individuals, each professional is responsible for maintaining his/her clinical competence, applicable knowledge and skills, and performance abilities through identification and selection of appropriate learning opportunities.
8, The ERPC is responsible for providing educational opportunities to assist professionals in their continued growth and development toward excellence in practice.
9. Intra-and inter-agency cooperation is necessary for the successful organization and administration of educational opportunities within the region.
10. The criteria of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Commission on Accreditation regarding the planning and implementation of continuing education activities am appropriate and should be utilized.
To these ends, the SW of the educational unit is to develop sound educational opportunities to meet the identified needs of nurses and other health professionals in the North Georgia Perinatal Region.
Scope of Educational Activities
For the purpose of the ERPC, the definition of continuing education promulgated by the ANA Council on Continuing Education (1984) will be used:
Continuing education in nursing consists of those planned educational activities intended to build upon the educational and experiential bases of the professional nurse for the enhancement of practice, education, administration, research, or theory development to the end of improving the health of the public. (p. 5)
Outreach education is a type of continuing education in which educational offerings are given in remote and rural areas, generally by traveling experts (Redmann & Dorchester, 1985). Tins bringing of the teacher to the students in sites more accessible to them, wherever they ought be, removes at least one potential barrier (distance) to participation in educational opportunities by community-based nurses.
By these definitions, continuing and outreach education offered by the ERPC shall encompass all planned learning experiences designed to extend the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of registered nurses in order to keep them abreast of their specific field of interest, Nursing concepts, principles, practices, theories, and/or research we all considered appropriate content as long as they meet the needs or goals of the learner. The knowledge and skills obtained might be applied either immediately or in future nursing practice regardless of the nature of that practice or the work selling.
In comparison to continuing and outreach education, staff development, in-service education, and orientation are all more narrowly defined and are generally provided to meet the needs of the employing agency rather than those of the learner For example, in‑service education involves those learning activities designed to increase competence in carrying out the assigned responsibilities specific to a given employment setting. Orientation, on the other hand, serves as an introduction for new staff to the physical facilities, philosophy and goals, general operating policies and procedures, and role expectations in a specific work setting. Staff development is a broader term, including both in‑service and orientation models as well as certain aspects of continuing education, but the focus remains on the fulfillment of role expectations within a specific agency (Cooper, 1983; ANA, 1984; Puetz & Peters, 1981).
The distinctions among these modes of professional learning activities are sometimes subtle and in application they can be ambiguous and overlapping. Consequently, while ERPC personnel should be accessible for educational consultation at all times and may participate in staff development, inservice, and orientation as requested by the hospitals in the region, emphasis shall he placed on continuing and outreach education.