Student NT Editor, Rebecca Wallett, explains how CPD can help with your practice both before and after qualifying and, crucially, help you stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs
Continuing professional development - yes that dreaded phrase that us student nurses avoid more than we avoid writing our essays, which (by the way) seem to come by the bucket-load leaving little time for anything extra.
We all associate CPD with qualified nurses and professionals but I feel it is something we should start to consider as student nurses.
It’s no longer appealing to employers for an applicant to just have a nursing degree. Employers are more likely to look at you as a potential employee if you can show evidence of enthusiasm and motivation to continue developing.
“We all associate CPD with qualified nurses and professionals”
Recently I began searching for ways to widen my knowledge on different aspects of learning disabilities nursing. Not only to give me the upper hand when searching for potential employers next year, but to make me a more competent nurse.
This sudden burst of enthusiasm comes from my placement. My mentor has provided me with some meaningful learning opportunities, a recent being the ‘Kidz to Adultz in the Middle conference.’
This conference provided me with the opportunity to attend free seminars, one on the importance of effective postural care, another on sensory processing disorders, and the last on transitions from child to adult services.
”If you are serious about standing out from the crowd, then here is your opportunity”
Since I have begun looking for extra-curricular events to continue my professional development I have realised just how many opportunities there are out there ready for people like me to take full advantage of them. If you are serious about standing out from the crowd, then here is your opportunity. I thought I would share with you my to do list when it comes to CPD.
There are mountains of online CPD training sessions out there on the never-ending internet. Many charities and voluntary organisations offer CPD, some free some paid for, and you should look around for the subjects relevant to you.
You will be surprised how many free CPD events there are out there. So far I have only managed to attend Kidz to Adultz in the Middle in Coventry which was absolutely fantastic. I learnt so much from the free seminars at this event, and the knowledge I gained has helped me in certain situations at both work and placement.
”It is good to get into the habit of continuing to extend your knowledge”
Next on my list is Naidex at the NEC in Birmingham and Positive Choices at Nottingham University. I haven’t attended these yet so I can’t preach how good and valuable they are, but check out their websites, both look promising.
CPD is valuable to all professionals and students alike. It is good to get into the habit of continuing to extend your knowledge ready for when you are a qualified nurse. CPD ensures that your practices are in line with the most recent standards of care. CPD also helps to keep you interested and motivated within your career.
For those of you who are close to qualifying, revalidation is only three years away, it’s time to gather your CPD evidence early.
Nursing Times offers online CPD which is free to student subscibers: visit www.nursingtimes.net/nt-learning for details.