Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Southampton University Hospital.
Maintaining competence and keeping skills and knowledge in children's orthopaedic nursing alive are problematic in both the UK and Australia. The dearth of dedicated postgraduate courses for this specialty has resulted in an array of unregulated in-house training, nurses' individual educational needs not being met and potential for children with an orthopaedic problem being put at risk of not receiving optimal care. This paper reports on a travel scholarship used to compare and contrast the UK with Australia, which supported an international scoping exercise to identify nurses' beliefs regarding expertise in children's orthopaedic nursing and explore provision for maintaining pertinent knowledge and skills. Potential ways to improve support for nurses in maintaining expertise in this field of practice are discussed.
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