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Why It’s Vital to Promote Nursing Employee Development

Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick

Continuing professional development (CPD) is more important in nursing than in most other careers – new training and practices help nurses deliver the best standard of care.

Nurses must be kept up to date with cutting edge healthcare, as the best nursing practices are continually evolving and developing. In nursing, it is true that ‘there’s always more to learn’.

Developing your nursing employees doesn’t only strengthen them personally; it ultimately adds value to your healthcare organisation by ensuring your patients are always given the best care possible.

There are different mandatory and voluntary ways of ensuring constant development in your nursing staff, which I will go through in this article, and explain why each is valuable.

What is Employee Development?

Most nurses will tell you that they love their job – yes – it’s hard sometimes, but they still love it. They enjoy coming to work and get so much out of it – it is more than merely ‘a job’ to them, meaning that they have emotional ties to their career which goes beyond their salary.

Looking beyond what is expected of a nurse during their regular day, their healthcare organisation should also have a similar holistic view about the nurse and their value within the organisation.

Many organisations have employee development plans in place but as we all know, the working day in a healthcare organisation never seems long enough, and training and development can fall by the wayside when there are more pressing matters at hand.

This Forbes article on employee development states “It's hard to think of an important aspect of management more neglected than development planning - helping your employees shape the future direction of their careers. For a variety of reasons, this valuable activity is often ignored.”

Ignoring employee development can be potentially harmful, and yet it can be so beneficial when it is done right. Let's take a quick look at the benefits of a great employee development plan.

How Does Employee Development Benefit?

Employee development benefits your organisation twofold-

The nurse benefits in that they are personally and professionally developed; they are continually learning new skills so that they can give the best care possible to their patients.

The organisation benefits in that by developing their nurses, they are creating a culture of learning and are providing their organisation with an army of well-trained staff.

These are the two main benefits of employee development, and I will talk in more detail about what are some of the positive outcomes that can arise from an excellent nursing development programme.

But first, let's take a look at the different routes to employee development.

Mandatory CPD

In nursing, there is both mandatory employee development and extra voluntary learning that can be encouraged.

There is a national programme which ensures that nurses are developed continuously, formerly the PREP (post-registration education and practice) system; this has now been replaced with a newer system.

New regulations introduced in Oct 2015 state that nurses must undergo 35 hours of CPD, including participatory learning (hands-on) and non-participatory (theory-based) learning.

It is required by law that your nurses keep detailed records of their training – this OneFile free downloadable CPD tracker is a great tool to help your nurses keep track of their CPD.

Voluntary Development

As well as the required CPD, it is sometimes helpful for you to develop your staff in-house, regarding specific issues within your organisation, or mental health and wellbeing awareness.

LinkedIn is an excellent place for your nurses to read and share sector knowledge and current affairs, as well as the ability to network and share their experiences with other nurses.

It is a good idea to have regular check in’s with your staff, either one-to-one or in a group setting, to ask if there are any areas in which they would like to develop their training.

Positive Outcomes From Employee Development

So, what are the main positives that both nurses and their healthcare employers can benefit from, long-term, from continuing employee development?

  • It helps to build loyalty between your staff and your organisation. This means that your nurses are more likely to be happier in their roles and ultimately, less likely to look elsewhere. Staff turnover and retention is a big issue in many healthcare organisations today, as the UK’s nursing shortage continues to deepen.
  • As mentioned earlier, the more you train your staff, the better at their jobs they become. This is invaluable in nursing as there are currently so many unoccupied nursing roles.
  • Your healthcare staff will genuinely care that you are taking an interest in them. With mental health problems on the rise in the workplace, it is vital for employers to be aware and engaged with positive mental health incentives to support their staff.

Great nurse training programmes can be hugely beneficial for your healthcare organisation, but first, you need the staff in place to train. If you have nursing vacancies that need filling, talk to us today to find out how we can help.



Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989 and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability. 

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, Industrial Nursing, and Engineering appointments, on both a permanent and temporary basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

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