Children's Nurses' Perceptions of Continuous Professional Development

Wilson, Pauline (2005) Children's Nurses' Perceptions of Continuous Professional Development. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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Continuous Professional Development (CPD), sometimes referred to as Lifelong Learning or Continuing Education, is a relevant and important issue for nurses, doctors and other professionals. However there is little specific literature that demonstrates children's nurses' perceptions about CPD. This study aimed to explore (1) what children's nurses perceive CPD to be; (2) examine whom children's nurses perceive to be responsible for CPD; (3) explore what factors children's nurses perceive could improve CPD and (4) to examine if children's nurses perceive clinical practice to be influenced by CPD. Three focus groups were undertaken with different grades of children's nurses working in an acute children's unit in the North West oEngland. Following this two hundred and forty questionnaires based on the analysis from the focus groupwere sent to children's nurses across the North West of England. Eighty one questionnaires were returned which represented a 34% response rate and the data were analyse using thematic analysis. Numerical data were handled usindescriptive statistics and presented in the text in graph form and tables. Respondents' qualitative comments were selected and presented in the text to clarify and support results and findings. The key findings were that most had positive perceptions of CPD and their relation to it. Most of the major bathers were perceived to be work linked and due to constraints that the individual felt unable to overcome. Also, despite difficulty in accessing relevant CPD, most participants perceived that their practice had been influenced considerably by CPD. Several recommendations are proposed which managers of children's nurses could implement to ensure their staff felt valued by the organisation. These include (1) providing relevant,appropriate and accessible CPD; (2) ensuring staffing establishments are calculated realistically rather than historically; (3) improving liaison between health and education to ensure joint planning of CPD, (4) developing comprehensive and relevant Personal Development Plans for each individual and preparing appropriate training needs analysis based on the children's nurses needs rather than the availability of courses.

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