Nurse education is something that I am extremely passionate about as a clinical facilitator in a large cardiology department.
I enjoy the backing of my trust to develop skills and knowledge among both nursing students and qualified staff.
It is to the credit of my managers that they allow me the freedom to take students and nurses out of the work environment on a regular basis, unless the wards are busy, to involve them in regular education.
What really gets up my nose is when I hear nurses complaining that they never go on courses, or never go to any teaching sessions. Especially when they start repeating the management mantra ‘we are too short-staffed’.
Education is essential for nurse development, no matter how long staff have been in nursing. I know that it can be difficult to get released from work – some specialties are better than others.
I have seen it from both sides in 16 years as a nurse. I have had managers in the past who downright refuse to let staff do courses. I have worked alongside staff who have done courses in their own time despite no management support. I have also worked with staff who have paid for their own courses.
These situations are not ideal but they do show a commitment from many nurses to access education, whatever the cost.
Your Knowledge and Skills Framework appraisal provides you with a great opportunity
to identify learning needs on an annual basis. So think about your learning needs early on and look at course dates prior to your appraisal so you have all the details to hand.
Look at course content so you can justify it to your manager. Show how the knowledge will benefit your department. Fight for your education. Be positive. All that moaning does is undermine staff morale.
Greg Moran is clinical facilitator, CCU/cardiology, Derbyshire Royal Infirmary
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