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The Importance of Nursing Professional Development

14 December
2021

The Importance of Nursing Professional Development

In healthcare today, nurses make up the largest workforce. Today, with COVID-19 and the need for efficient nurses, organizations now value their importance and desire to retain those who are confident and competent. They want those individuals who are zealous, and have the ability to adapt to the increasing needs of offering safe and effective care for critical patients.

It has been observed that the nursing workforce is now experiencing a higher influx of millennial, where majority of baby boomers are now retiring. This has resulted in a significant loss in terms of experience and has also culminated to staff shortages.

So why Is It Important To Contribute To The Professional Development Of Nurses?

In today's time, professional development is extremely important for nurses who are working in progressive organization. Such companies, recognize the importance of professional development for existing as well as new staff. As per the report submitted by IOM, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health: it is imminent for the healthcare sector to realize the importance of lifelong learning and also come up with standardized processes that encourage the skill development and improvement of nurses.

With time, more and more organizations are slowly and gradually realizing the importance of nurse satisfaction and competency. Moreover, the outcomes of such initiatives can also be easily weighed and assessed. Moreover, it is also very important for nurses to anticipate and opt for professional development throughout their careers and consider it to be an integral part of their progressive work environment.

In times like these where COVID-19 has taken the world by a storm, healthcare professionals tend to weigh the importance of professional development. They fail to register that such programs can act as catalysts and support system in times of crisis. It is important for employers to make their staff feel that they are valued, offer safe and progressive environment alongside efficient care.

With professional development, nurses can learn about managing new diseases and critical patient populations. Further, healthcare sector will also be able to promote various learning opportunities pertaining to self-care enabling them to avoid burnout particularly when a calamity takes place.

Thereby, it is integral for organizations to focus on professional development. The programs need to be categorized according to the different nurses' stages so that all individuals can benefit - be it new nurses or veterans. With critically designed onboarding programs and long-standing hiring, one can somewhat achieve this goal. The innovative ways that are thus adopted will thus help in promoting continuous learning and foster behavioral changes.

If you are struggling with coming up with a way to deploy ongoing learning strategies, continue reading further.

For starters, discuss with a sample group of nurses regarding their expectations out of a professional development plan. This will act as a good starting point. Having a dedicated resource onboard will help in developing a professional development program alongside coming up with metrics that help gauge the results. The three critical components that organizations need to focus upon in terms of professional development are:

  • As discussed earlier, having a dedicated and professional resources whose job is to only work around these programs will help reap better results. The issue with deploying existing resources is that most individuals already have a lot on their plate which may hamper the results of this activity. Therefore, a dedicated resource whose sole responsibility is to work on the welfare and wellbeing of nurses can go a long way.
  • Many a times, there are various plans in place that are designed to reap results. However, it is extremely important for organizations to come up with a customized development plan that fosters growth. For instance, a program for beginners can aim at preparing nurses for the challenges that await them. Similarly, a program can be designed exclusively for nurses experiencing a burnout.
  • Often a times, healthcare organizations have the above-mentioned prerequisites in place but what they actually lack is an effective measurement metrics that will help them in identifying areas that require improvement. A credible measurement system will help in denoting whether the systems that are in place are actually garnering the required results.

All in all, in this era, it is important for healthcare organizations to invest in professional development for the welfare and growth of their nurses.