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Cover image for lecture: Mandatory Education: Why Do We Do it?

Lecture Overview

This short interview recorded at the Association for Nursing Professional Development 2018 Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida, offers a fresh look at mandatory training and its expectations that it will achieve staff competence. Importantly, Donna Wright considers the question 'why do we do it?'.

Donna looks at the problems associated with routine mandatory training - still so common in many health settings. Questioning whether it is always the best way to improve staff competence, she reveals a possible downside to mandatory training. Rather, she sets her focus on how to achieve desired outcomes.

Indeed, in the introduction to her book entitled ‘The ultimate guide to competency assessment in health care (2005)’ she states:

  • “It is easy for us to fall into the common competency assessment traps. We can commit to assessing so many competencies that we begin to drown in them. We can get stuck in the trap of measuring the same competencies year after year …”
  • Talking in a plain language she describes how to implement a much more meaningful approach to competency assessment.
  • If you are involved in mandatory training or are forced to undertake it year on year, in your healthcare organisation - you need to watch this very engaging interview.

Creative Healthcare Management 2018, ‘Resources for healthcare professionals, viewed 7 December 2018,
Wright, D 2005, Ultimate guide to competency assessment in healthcare, 3rd edn, Creative Healthcare Management, Minneapolis.
Wright, D 2015, Competency assessment field guide: a real world guide for implementation and application, Creative Healthcare Management, Minneapolis.


Portrait of Donna Wright
Donna Wright

Ms. Wright is a professional development specialist with Creative Healthcare Management in Minneapolis, MN. Donna has worked with many health care organizations to help them create meaningful, effective programs that support staff development and competency assessment for all departments. She is the author of the book, The Ultimate Guide to Competency Assessment in Healthcare – which has been translated into Japanese, and is being used throughout Japan. Her most recent publication is The Competency Assessment Field Guide. She is also one of the co-authors of the national award winning book, Relationship-based care: A model for transforming practice. Donna received her Masters Degree in nursing education from the University of Minnesota. She has worked in both staff and leadership roles. Her experiences have taken her to a variety of health care settings including rural Africa. Donna is a member and past president of the Association for Nursing Professional Development and is a recipient of their “Promoting Excellence in Consultation” award. Donna is known for her energy and refreshing approach to education and learning. See Educator Profile


25 Total Rating(s)
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Michele Selby
04 Nov 2019

Excellent educator

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Milica Bosnjak
30 May 2019

I found the interview very interesting and gave the listener valuable information.

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louise ann mackie
14 May 2019


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Ann Simpson
13 May 2019

Brief but informative interview about the efficacy of requiring mandatory training or assessing individuals on their present skill base and then continuing from there to advise on what training is required to ensure competencies are met.

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Mirriam Mzileni
24 Apr 2019

well presented.

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Elizabeth Makgeta
22 Apr 2019

Excellent information

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Lynette hodder
21 Apr 2019

good information

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Rachiel Kagonda
15 Mar 2019


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Meredith Herold
17 Feb 2019


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Valerie Van Wyk
30 Jan 2019

This short but time effective resource gave good insight relating to how a change in thought and approach can instigate new attitudes and approach to my thinking and planning for patient care

CPD14m of CPD
Total Rating(s)  25
Published13 December 2018
Expires 13 December 2021
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