The Benefits and Challenges of Continuing Development Short Courses for Health Care Professionals« Back to Articles
Continuing development short courses are educational activities that aim to enhance the knowledge and skills of health care professionals, such as nurses, pharmacists, and paramedics. These courses can cover a variety of topics, such as medicine, health promotion, communication, leadership, legal and ethical aspects of nursing, and evidence-based practice. Continuing development short courses can have many benefits for health care professionals, such as:
- Improving the quality of care. Continuing development short courses can help health care professionals stay updated on the latest developments and best practices in their fields. This can enable them to provide safe, effective, and person-centred care to their patients and clients. For example, a study by Mlambo et al. found that nurses who engaged in continuing professional development (CPD) reported improved patient care standards and outcomes.
- Enhancing professional competence and confidence. Continuing development short courses can help health care professionals develop new skills and knowledge that are relevant to their roles and scopes of practice. This can increase their competence and confidence in performing their duties and responsibilities. For example, a study by Gopee found that nurses who participated in CPD activities reported increased self-confidence and self-efficacy in their practice.
- Promoting lifelong learning and professionalism. Continuing development short courses can help health care professionals maintain their professional registration and accreditation, as well as meet the requirements of their employers and regulators. This can demonstrate their commitment to lifelong learning and professionalism. For example, in some countries, such as the UK, Australia, and some US states, CPD is mandated by the professional regulator and is necessary for continuing to practice as a nurse.
- Increasing job satisfaction and retention. Continuing development short courses can help health care professionals enhance their career prospects and opportunities, as well as achieve their personal and professional goals. This can increase their job satisfaction and retention. For example, a study by Almalki et al. found that nurses who had access to CPD opportunities reported higher levels of job satisfaction and lower levels of turnover intention.
However, there are also some challenges and barriers that may hinder the participation of health care professionals in continuing development short courses, such as:
- Lack of funding. Continuing development short courses may require a significant amount of financial investment from the participants or their employers. This may limit the access and availability of these courses for some health care professionals who may not have sufficient funds or support to cover the costs.
- Lack of time. Continuing development short courses may require a considerable amount of time commitment from the participants or their employers. This may conflict with the busy schedules and workloads of some health care professionals who may not have enough time or flexibility to attend these courses.
- Lack of access. Continuing development short courses may not be easily accessible or convenient for some health care professionals who may face geographical or logistical barriers to attend these courses. For example, some courses may only be offered in certain locations or at certain times that may not suit the preferences or needs of some participants.
- Lack of support. Continuing development short courses may not be adequately supported or facilitated by the employers or the peers of the participants. This may affect the motivation and engagement of some health care professionals who may not feel valued or encouraged to pursue these courses.
- Lack of motivation. Continuing development short courses may not be sufficiently appealing or relevant for some health care professionals who may not see the benefits or outcomes of these courses for their practice or career. This may reduce the interest and willingness of some participants to enrol in these courses.
- Lack of recognition. Continuing development short courses may not be properly recognized or rewarded by the employers or the regulators of the participants. This may undermine the credibility and validity of these courses for some health care professionals who may not receive any incentives or recognition for completing these courses.
To ensure the quality and safety of patient care, health care professionals need to keep their knowledge and skills up to date. Continuing development short courses are a great way to achieve this goal, as they offer various topics and specialties that are relevant to their practice and career. However, these courses also require adequate resources and support from health care organisations, as well as motivation and commitment from the participants. Therefore, health care organisations should foster a culture of learning and excellence in their workplaces by providing their staff with access and opportunities to attend these courses.
One of the leading providers of continuing development short courses in the UK is Practitioner Development UK (PDUK). They have a range of accredited CPD courses in nursing, midwifery and healthcare that can help health care professionals enhance their professional development and career prospects. They also have flexible and convenient modes of delivery, such as onsite or online via Zoom, as well as affordable and competitive prices. Moreover, they have experienced and qualified tutors who can provide feedback and support throughout the learning journey. Health care professionals who are interested in taking their CPD to the next level can visit PDUK’s website or contact them for more information or to book a course.
Mlambo, N., Ricks, E., & Mwale, M. (2017). Continuing professional development and its impact on the quality of nursing care at a selected hospital in the Western Cape. Curationis, 40(1), e1-e8.
- Gopee, N. (2015). The role of self-confidence and self-efficacy in learning and competence assessment in practice. British Journal of Nursing, 24(15), 778-782.
- Almalki, M., FitzGerald, G., & Clark, M. (2012). The relationship between quality of work life and turnover intention of primary health care nurses in Saudi Arabia. BMC Health Services Research, 12(1), 314.
- Scribbr (2020, November 5). How to cite a website in APA Style.