General CPD

CPD for Nurses

Dr. Carl Clarkson • October 6, 2021

Continued professional development (CPD) is within the healthcare industry to ensure that all nurses are up to date with the latest developments, and have the broadest knowledge and expertise to better care for their patients. CPD should work in conjunction with hands-on nursing practice to develop highly skilled and forward thinking nurses in the industry.

Are you new to nursing or about to start your CPD training? Carry on reading to find out more about CPD training, including how many hours are required, what happens if nurses don’t meet CPD requirements and what CPD training courses nurses can do.

How much CPD do nurses need?

CPD nursing requires each nurse or training staff to complete a total of 35 hours of continued professional development that is relevant to their practice. It is important to note that these 35 hours of CPD need to be completed within 3 years of when your registration was last renewed, or when you registered to be considered for revalidation.

Furthermore, 20 of those 35 hours need to be completed using participatory CPD training. By participatory CPD training we are referring to studying training courses, attending relevant industry conferences, or completing nursing workshops.

The reason for this lies with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). In 2015 they made changes to the regulations to encourage nurses to engage in more hands-on training as part of their CPD training, hence the required 20 hours of participatory training.

What happens if nurses don't meet CPD requirements?

If you think you are not going to meet the CPD training requirements then the best advice would be to pre-empt this issue. Whether it's due to illness, stress, time or bereavement, recognising that you are not going to hit the criteria in advance, instead of getting to the end of the period and not having achieved the requirements, is a much easier process to deal with.

If you recognise that you don’t think you will meet the CPD training requirements within the 3 year period, then you can apply to pause your CPD for up to 8 weeks via the Nursing and Midwifery Council here. Throughout the application you will have to detail the reasons why you think you cannot meet the CPD criteria for the deadline, and express that you do intend to complete the training within the additional 8 weeks training period. The application for an extension will be reviewed over 5 working days and will only be seriously considered due to difficult real-life circumstances such as a bereavement or pregnancy, for example.

However, if you don’t pre-empt this issue, or simply don't meet the CPD training requirements, the next step of the process will be your revalidation registration being cancelled. In order to reapply for your nursing training you will need to complete a return to practice course and a test of competence, but you can only continue with this process if you have completed 35 hours of CPD training within the 3 years before you reapply.

These training hours do not need to be from the time when you were registered, so if you can find evidence of relevant CPD training you have completed before you were registered this may count and support your application for readmission.

What counts as CPD for revalidation?

CPD revalidation requirements in terms of CPD in nursing are open to interpretation. The Nursing and Midwifery Council believe it should be up to the nurse to decide what activity will benefit their development most in terms of their strengths and weaknesses within the nursing industry.

As long as nurses meet the requirements of 20 hours included in their 35 hours of CPD training being participatory, they can choose the relevant training themselves.

Examples of relevant and acceptable participatory training includes:

  • Workshops
  • Skills based courses
  • Peer review activities
  • Mentoring a specific skill or role
  • Group meetings
  • Clinical audits
  • Acting as an expert witness
  • Practice visits to different environments that are relevant to the nursing

What CPD training courses can nurses do?

Nurses can do any training courses that are related to their industry, or within the scope outlined in their targets to improve. This could be online training courses, seminars, or face to face skills training. As long as the CPD training course can be linked to the context of nursing, and can clearly be linked to development, the decision is completely yours.

CPD training courses for nurses at Breeze Academy

Breeze Academy has over 10 years of experience in delivering a range of face to face and online courses including nursing CPD, and specialised courses across the globe. Our CPD courses are easy to access and follow, so are ideal for collating your CPD training points with regards to your Nursing registration.

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