POLICY & PROCEDURE
May 1, 2016
A. To provide guidelines for approval and support of all nursing employees' participation in
off-site educational activities. Continuing education is highly valued at UWHC. It is a
shared responsibility between the organization and the health care professionals
employed. UWHC has the responsibility to educate staff regarding the knowledge and
skills required by specific organizational roles and positions. Individual health
professionals are also responsible for pursuing their own professional growth. Within
resource constraints, UWHC supports both efforts, by supporting attendance at
conferences both internal and external to UWHC. The goal is to maximize the value
obtainable from the available funds. Whenever possible, educational support will be
sought through Education and Development for Nursing and Patient Care Services before
seeking outside educational resources. When staff attends a conference with financial
support from UWHC, they are expected to disseminate the information learned to others
on their unit.
A. Off-site educational travel usually fits within the following categories:
1. Administrative travel for start-up of new programs or major change in programs.
2. Continuing education to increase knowledge or skills. This may also include
annual conferences of organizations which have educational components.
Funding support will vary and is generally greater if the employee is orally
presenting at the conference.
B. Prior approval is required for paid time or funding in all cases, without exception.
C. Funding is limited. Preference is given to funding travel and attendance at regional and
national conferences which support the goals of UWHC and Nursing and Patient Care
D. Approval of each request is based on considerations such as:
1. Degree to which the information will help the person in his/her job performance.
2. Currency and significance of the information, ie, whether it is on the cutting edge
of health care.
3. Consistency with unit educational needs assessment.
4. Consistency with the requesting staff person's area of practice.
5. Availability of in-house programs on the topic should be investigated before off-
site approval is granted.
6. Relationship of the cost to the total value and conference quality. Conferences
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May 1, 2016
need to be sponsored by a recognized organization with appropriate credentials,
accreditation and continuing education units (CEUs).
7. Employees must have met the previous dissemination of conference information
standard in order to be eligible for future funding.
E. Financial support originates from the employee's department, and is based on the
1. Unit funding for education is allocated after managers receive the annual unit-
based educational needs assessment results from the Education and Development
for Nursing and Patient Care Services department.
2. Conferences of shared interest with another UWHC Department should be funded
3. Employees may receive one day's pay (eight hours) up to a maximum of three
days per year per person to attend externally sponsored conferences.
4. Consideration should be given to the number and type of externally sponsored and
institutionally funded conferences the employee has attended in the past 3 years.
5. Travel expenses shall be reimbursed with advanced approval and in accordance
with Administrative Policy 1.14 - Travel Policy and at the discretion of the Vice
6. Funding practices should be consistent within a clinical department.
A. To request support for off-site education, complete Request for Education/Travel form
and submit to the manager. (Attachment #1)
B. Management approval and extent of funding, or disapproval, are based on considerations
stated in part II above. For those requests approved, the Education/Travel request form,
along with the program brochure, is to be submitted to the Senior Administrative
Secretary-Confidential for processing of the appropriate forms. (Attachment #2)
C. Appropriate forms must be submitted at least six (6) weeks in advance of the
program/travel date in order to receive prepayment of fees by UWHC.
D. When payment for an approved off-site program cannot be made in advance by UWHC,
the employee will receive the approved level of reimbursement only after all appropriate
documentation is submitted to the Senior Administrative Secretary-Confidential.
Reimbursement claims must be based on actual individual expenses incurred. (ie shared
hotel room expenses need to be split and individual receipts obtained at time of hotel
check out). Reimbursement claims made after the fiscal year-end (June 30th) cut off date
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May 1, 2016
will not be honored and reimbursement to the employee will not be made.
E. Administrative Secretaries are responsible for maintaining monthly records that show all
expenditures and future commitments for expense classifications 595200, 595300,
595400 (travel and education related expense classes), organized by cost center (unit).
The actual expenditures and commitments are compared to the annual travel/education
budget, and a "budget balance remaining" figure is calculated.
F. All Nursing departments track and record the travel/education expenses in a centralized
spreadsheet located at J:\Nursing\projects\Travel Education\. At the end of each fiscal
year, all actual data must be entered into the spreadsheet by August 31.
A. Process for education travel budget development.
1. Education and Development for Nursing and Patient Care Services should be
alerted when multiple conference requests arise from a variety of program areas
for the same conference. This may indicate the need for an on-site program.
A. Administrative Policy 1.14 - Travel Policy
VI. REVIEWED BY:
A. Director, Education and Development for Nursing and Patient Care Services
B. Nursing Administrative Policy and Procedure Committee, April 2013
Beth Houlahan, MSN, RN, CENP
Senior Vice President Patient Care Services,
Chief Nursing Officer