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

Donna Wright, RN, BSN, MS, is a Creative Health Care Management Consultant based in the USA. This organisation provides consultation services and educational programs, and products to most levels of health care providers. Donna has published several books and articles on creative educational strategies and self-directed learning. She developed a model of competency assessment which is widely used across the USA and is regularly referred to in articles and presentations. She is a cited author of several popular books on the topic. Donna is an exceptional communicator but first and foremost, she is a nurse leader.




12 Total Rating(s)

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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

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Jedee Binwag
28 Jan 2019

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26 Jan 2019

Relevant and educating view. Great food for thought!

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Sonja Odette Benn
23 Jan 2019

Very interesting talk

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Dorothy-anne burrows
21 Jan 2019

Very logical presentation and interesting.

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Anne Taylor
16 Jan 2019

Very informative & interesting. Reinforcing the importance of looking at mandatory competency as a means to improve our skills & not just something we have to do!

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Rhonda Sharpe
15 Jan 2019

Very interesting point of view regarding the reason for mandatory training and a new way of presenting or encouraging competency by being accountable if your practice is less than competent. Thought provoking !

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Will Egan
11 Jan 2019

Fantastic resource and great to get an international perspective.

Portrait of Rachel Wilson
Rachel Wilson
08 Jan 2019

I liked the way Donna uses analogies to explain exactly what she is trying to convey. I thoroughly enjoyed this lecture.