Continuing professional development: does it make a difference?

Tennant, Shirley and Field, Ray (2004) Continuing professional development: does it make a difference? Nursing In Critical Care, 9(4), pp. 167-172. ISSN (print) 1362-1017


Continuing professional development (CPD) is costly in terms of both organizational resources and personal time and effort. It forms an important part of the strategy for modernizing the health service and is an expectation of qualified nurses. There is little evidence to demonstrate the impact of CPD in terms of improved patient care and services. A small pilot study was undertaken. A group of intensive therapy unit (ITU) managers developed a goal attainment scale (GAS) to evaluate the impact of an ITU course. Results suggest that the ITU course did make a difference to the development of ITU nurses, but the nurses who did not take the course also developed. This has implications for service providers and educationalists in terms of expectations, timing and content of courses. The GAS was a useful tool as an approach to evaluating the impact of CPD but requires more rigorous testing before it can be described as reliable and valid.

Actions (Repository Editors)

Item Control Page Item Control Page