The Importance of Continuing Professional Development for Nurses
The Institute of Medicine has recommended that all nurses should have opportunities to learn new skills, acquire knowledge and keep up-to-date with developments in their field. Continuing professional development (CPD) is an essential part of the nursing profession and is becoming a requirement by employers. This article describes the role of CPD in nurse education and discusses its significance. It outlines the benefits of CPD for nurses, the types of courses available, and gives some ideas about what might work best for you.
What Is CPD?
The National Health Service (NHS) employs over three million people and provides care to more than nine out of ten patients in the UK. In addition, the NHS employs many other health professionals such as doctors, pharmacists, and dentists. The General Medical Council (GMC) regulates these professions, which requires them to complete a minimum number of hours of continuing professional development each year. For example, a dentist must complete 100 hours of CPD every five years.
Continuing professional development refers to learning and developing your skills through study or experience. It could include anything from attending a course on a particular subject to gaining hands-on experience at work. An RN to MSN degree program is ideal for gaining midwifery, neonatal nursing, and palliative care qualifications.
Why Do I Need to Update My Knowledge And Skills?
Nurses need to continually update their knowledge and skills because they will not always work in the same hospital or healthcare setting. As a result, nurses may move between hospitals, care homes, and private practice. You may need to update your knowledge and skills to remain relevant to your profession and to maintain your current position within the organization. You could even decide to change career and become a doctor or pharmacist, so you need to know what you’re getting into before you decide.
How Can I Learn New Things?
There are lots of ways to develop your skills and knowledge, but here are just a few suggestions:
- Attend seminars or conferences – Find out when local or national events occur. Check with colleagues and ask if anything interesting is going on.
- Take part in training courses – Many NHS trusts offer courses for staff members who wish to update their skills and knowledge. You could attend classes on diabetes management, cancer treatment, or dementia care.
- Read books – Books are great for learning new things. They readily provide information to understand and teach you something new.
- Watch videos – Many YouTube channels discuss various subjects related to nursing. You can watch short clips of lectures or interviews with experts.
- Use apps – Apps are programs designed to help you do one thing, such as calculate a sum or convert currency. Some are free, and others cost money.
- Talk to other people – Ask friends and family members what they’ve learned recently. You may be able to pick up some valuable tips from them.
- Join a local support group – A support group can give you advice and help you feel less alone. These groups often meet regularly and have a leader who enables you to learn more about a particular topic.
Types of CPD Courses Available
Many employers encourage their employees to take part in CPD courses. However, you don’t necessarily need to participate in a formal program to update your knowledge and skills. Here are a few examples of the types of courses available:
- Workshops – Many employers offer workshops for their staff. These could be held in the workplace or at a local community center.
- Seminars – Seminars are often longer courses that last several days. They are usually held at a conference venue or hotel.
- Online courses – Online courses are very popular. They allow you to access your course materials whenever you like.
- Apprenticeships – These are long-term arrangements between an employer and an employee. The training can take anywhere from six months to two years.
- Mentoring – This involves meeting with a mentor to discuss improving your skills.
- Self-directed learning – You can use your resources to learn new things.
How Much Time Should I Spend On CPD?
It depends on what you want to achieve. Most employers expect their staff to spend a certain amount of time on CPD. For example, if you work for a trust, you could be expected to complete 100 hours of CPD per year. However, if you work in a smaller organization, you may only be required to complete 50 hours.
There are no set rules about how much CPD you need to complete each year. It’s up to you to decide how much time you need to devote to your CPD activities. You could spend 10 hours each week or one hour each day.
Are There Any Costs Involved?
Yes, employers often charge a fee for CPD courses. You may also need to pay for your equipment, such as laptops or tablets.
Is It Worth It?
Of course! It’s never too late to start updating your knowledge and skills. Even if you think you already have enough to do, you could always spend some time on CPD. If you complete a course, you’ll be better prepared for any future challenges you encounter in your job.
Most importantly, it will demonstrate to your employer that you are committed to staying up-to-date with the latest developments in your field.
As you can see, there are many ways to learn new things and update your knowledge and skills. Make sure you choose a method that suits you. Remember, if you don’t update your knowledge and skills, you could lose your current position. You could also miss out on opportunities to advance your career. If you decide to update your knowledge and skills, you’ll need to decide how much time you devote to this activity. Think about what you need to achieve and how you can do this.
And remember, it’s never too late to begin learning new things.