Across the nursing sector, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a vital part of ensuring that today’s workforce is kept up to date with the latest developments.
Whether it’s learning a new skill or refreshing existing knowledge, CPD is designed to not only ensure you are fit for practice as a nurse, but can also enhance your future career opportunities. It’s also a prerequisite for nurses to renew their nursing registration.
What are Nursing CPD Points?
As a nurse, you need to complete 35 hours of learning that is relevant to your area of practice. This needs to be completed during the 3 years since your last registration (or following your initial registration if you are newly qualified).
The CPD must include at least 20 hours of participatory learning (in other words learning that involves interacting with one or more professionals) and you will need to keep accurate records of what training you have undertaken. You gain 1 nursing CPD point or credit for each hour of study or training that you do.
There are a wide range of opportunities and ways to complete CPD for today’s modern nurses. For instance, you may want to do some e-learning at home on your computer or you might prefer to attend ‘live’ events such as study days. You might even want to undertake longer courses to add certain skills or qualifications to your CV. Many employers, including agencies, provide at least some access to CPD or support for the courses that you choose to take.
Why Do Nurses Need CPD points?
CPD enables you to remain up to date with the latest practices and research, and develop new skills that will benefit your nursing career. Nurses and midwives must register with the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) and undertaking the 35 hours of CPD is mandatory if you want to continue practising in the UK.
What Are the Benefits for Nurses?
While getting 35 nursing CPD points is mandatory, it also presents numerous benefits for you as a nurse, not least ensuring your skills and training are advanced with the latest evidence-based practice. As a nurse, of course, you have a duty to deliver the best level of care, whatever environment you work in.
If you are looking to develop your career, CPD points are vital as evidence that you are serious about your career development. CPD is also a way to demonstrate to future employees that you have the necessary skills and expertise to carry out your job adequately.
Choosing the Right CPD Courses
Making sure you gather the mandatory number of nursing CPD points over the three-year period of your registration is more than just a box-ticking exercise. Understanding what you should focus on and how this will impact on your future career is important. It pays to do some careful research and map out your learning to ensure that you are making the most of each opportunity.
For more info, The RCN provides some great guidance on CPD on their website
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