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What barriers are there to continuing your professional development?

  • Comments (3)

Purkis N, Gabb CA (2013) Online learning for professional development. Nursing Times; 109: 51, 16-18.


“This article addresses how nurses in the UK can use online learning to meet the changing requirements of continuing professional development. Recent changes in post-registration nurse education are due to two main reasons: financial cutbacks and reduced use of agency staff make it difficult for nurse managers to release nurses for study time away from the ward; and healthcare becoming increasingly diverse and complex, so pre-registration education has changed. Since September 2013, only degree-level pre-registration nursing programmes have been available in the UK. Degree-level education is intended to sharpen critical thinking skills to improve future healthcare but it may also disadvantage nurses without degrees. One response to these challenges is to provide online learning, such as online portfolios (e-portfolios) or other online personal learning programmes.”

5 key points:

  1. In September 2013, pre-registration nurse training became degree only
  2. Financial constraints can make it difficult for nurses to get time away from the ward for education
  3. Achievement and satisfaction are higher for online learning than for face-to-face education
  4. Students can feel isolated and lacking in direction when learning online, so support is essential to maintain motivation
  5. E-portfolios are used as evidence of students’ work and to help them reflect


Let’s discuss…

  • What barriers to post-registration learning have you come up against?
  • Does degree-level education disadvantage nurses without a degree?
  • Comments (3)

Readers' comments (3)

  • E learning means -'do it in your time' - so more unpaid work hours. If you learning are away from the workplace you have time to put things into perspective and listen and discuss. Managers always want to do everything on the cheap except their car and wages!!

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  • Distance learning - ive started a degree top-up course but found it has been very hard to motivate myself while juggling long day shifts and a life balance. Ive also found the support from the online course a bit hit and miss and really miss the face to face contact where questions are instantly answered or discussed. Im not sure its worth what i paid - did i mention there was no financial support from my employer?!! I know where i will be taking my degree.... somewhere else!

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  • Anonymous

    We need to get away from this idea that the degree in itself will improve future care....simply because it's a degree. (See the NT discussion on the ongoing situation of IV medicine management, venepuncture and cannulation still not being taught as part of the under-grad course in this country, as an example). Without decent course content, appropriate and relevant clinical placement and opportunity to gain experience and practical skills, it doesn't matter what you call it if it fails to prepare our brilliant, motivated students for qualification. Give them the training they deserve.

    With regard to post-reg learning, I had to fund my degree and masters and study in my own time. Our health authority had started to fund some places and allow some study time for those who wished to top up. However, that was the first thing that went out of the window when the government put the squeeze on the budget. As Samantha Johnston notes, studying using distance and online facilities is a different animal and not easy, particularly when you are working full time.

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