Critical care nurses’ reasons for poor attendance at a continuous professional development program

07 Apr 2017

BACKGROUND : Society demands competent and safe health care, which obligates professionals to deliver quality patient care using current knowledge and skills. Participation in continuous professional development programs is a way to ensure quality nursing care. Despite the importance of continuous professional development, however, critical care nurse practitioners’ attendance rates at these programs is low. OBJECTIVE : To explore critical care nurses’ reasons for their unsatisfactory attendance at a continuous professional development program. METHODS : A nominal group technique was used as a consensus method to involve the critical care nurses and provide them the opportunity to reflect on their experiences and challenges related to the current continuous professional development program for the critical care units. Participants were 14 critical care nurses from 3 critical care units in 1 private hospital. RESULTS : The consensus was that the central theme relating to the unsatisfactory attendance at the continuous professional development program was attitude. In order of importance, the 4 contributing priorities influencing attitude were communication, continuous professional development, time constraints, and financial implications. CONCLUSION : Attitude relating to attending a continuous professional development program can be changed if critical care nurses are aware of the program’s importance and are involved in the planning and implementation of a program that focuses on the nurses’ individual learning needs.