If you've completed a degree in healthcare you might be thinking that you are due a well-deserved break - you've met all the academic and clinical standards to be a competent professional and be registered as such. Or, you might be thinking of the next step in career and continuing your professional development.
Your degree is the first step in a direction of personal and professional excellence, and the first stage to a rewarding career - the step that means you have the competence to do the basics. However, this important and vital foundation allows you to build on your existing capabilities and qualifications to specialise in new areas and learn new skills.
Most of us want to advance in our careers, to be challenged, to be the best version of ourselves we can be. The NHS promote six core values - Confidence, Commitment, Care, Compassion, Communication and Courage in ourselves and our patients, so as a health professional you may want to engage with continuing your professional development (CPD) to further explore and develop skills in line with these values.
Professional Navigator, Nicola Clarke, shares 10 reasons why continuing your professional development, beyond your degree is highly beneficial and valued, and how it can enhance your career.
1. It will enhance your confidence and self-esteem
Not only allowing us to test our current knowledge and skills, but by developing new knowledge to enhance our practice. This confidence can be further translated into advocacy and the challenging of poor practice.
2. Keep up-to-date with trends and research
By continuing to study you'll be continuing to refresh your knowledge and skills which is vitally important in the clinical environment.
3. Stay motivated
CPD can help you to maintain motivation in your area by opening up to debate, new information and different possibilities.
4. Discover new opportunities
The development of your academic career can open up job opportunities that may require a higher level academic award which a CPD could help you to achieve.
5. Enhance patient care
You could potentially increase patient safety and enhance patient care, by immersing yourself into your subject during CPD. We give dedicated time to ourselves for the further study required to stay ahead of the game.
6. Enhance support
By allowing for networking and liaison with other students in your area and from different disciplines.
7. Give your patients confidence
CPD can enhance the potential for an increase in patient, service user and public confidence in us and your ability to carry out jobs from expanded education and knowledge.
8. Develop new skills
CPD will give you a greater level of confidence in your ability to sift out the good from the bad especially in relation to research, policies and procedures.
9. It can be fun!
In order to successfully study and allocate time to CPD you'll be required to take a day out from work, to be with your peers in a supportive, educational environment. Learning, taking time out from practice, debating, challenging and listening to others can be fun.
10. Reflective practice
Allow further engagement in reflective practice so that we can become the most emotionally intelligent nurse we can be.
Which CPD course is right for you?
We offer a range of specialist CPD courses, from Adult Acute Mental Health to Cancer Care, to enhance your skills and knowledge to take that next step in your career.