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How Often Should Nurses Update Their Skills?

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If you’re wondering how often nurses should update their skills, the answer is: constantly.

The benefits of continuing professional development (CPD) in nursing are vast – from keeping your finger on the pulse to staying abreast of advances in your industry, and also, ensuring your professional skillset stays fresh and relevant – the question should not be how often, but how to most effectively work on continually updating your nursing skills.

Let us take you through it.

The Benefit of Continuing Professional Development: Lifelong Learning & Upskilling

As a nurse, you must constantly build on your professional knowledge and expertise. Continuing professional development (CPD) is an integral part of this, and is instrumental in:

Broadening Your Knowledge of the Nursing Profession

Completing advanced studies in nursing can enable nurses to expand their existing knowledge of their profession and the industry. CPD can open doors to new opportunities for nurses, and inspire them to pursue advanced areas of practice – such as becoming a highly-paid family nurse practitioner (FNP), adult-gerontology nurse practitioner (AGNP), or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) – just to name a few examples. As well as improving career prospects and enhancing salary prospects, CPD in nursing facilitates a nurse’s ability to reach their full career potential.

Refreshing and Maintaining Your Existing Professional Skillset

CPD allows nurses to maintain competence in their profession. It enables them to refresh, perfect, and nurture their existing skills, while also ensuring they stay up-to-date on current and emerging best nursing practices. In an industry where it pays to stay informed, CPD is not only beneficial, it’s essential. To carry out best practices and ensure the optimal safety and care of patients, nurses’ skills need constant maintenance and refinement to remain fine-tuned, fresh, and on point – regardless of how many years of experience they have had on the job. Indeed, it could be argued that older nurses in particular can benefit from CPD the most – to ensure consistent reinforcement of their lifelong skills and knowledge.

Staying Up-to-date with Industry Advancements

In a fast-paced, ever-changing professional environment, keeping abreast of advances in the nursing industry is vital. With advancements in patient care, healthcare technology, and even AI, rendering older skills and practices virtually obsolete, it’s essential to stay up-to-date. AI in nursing in particular is an emerging concept that nurses must now familiarize themselves with. As the development of artificial intelligence-based technology and its benefits to the healthcare sector is becoming increasingly thrust into the limelight, nurses need to embrace the AI revolution and ensure they are informed about its application in their field.

How to Upskill: Pursuing Higher Education & Advanced Nursing Qualifications

CPD has many benefits for nursing, but not least, is the enhanced career prospects it can provide. In pursuing CPD as a nurse, completing DNP online programs can facilitate your pathway toward becoming an advanced nursing practitioner (APRN) in one of the following areas of advanced nursing specialization, for example:

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

Nurse Practitioner is an umbrella term that encapsulates a variety of different specialized nursing professions, including:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • Emergency or Critical Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Oncology Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Another form of APRN, instead of delivering patient care and treatment, clinical nurse specialists focus more specifically on conducting medical research. In this sense, the role is more administrative and predominantly focused on nursing education.

Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

A CNM specializes in the areas of gynecology and reproductive care and treating women from all walks of life. They will also deliver prenatal, pregnancy, and postpartum care.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

A CRNA is a type of APRN whose main focus is to administer anesthesia and other medications. They are most often situated in surgical environments, as well as hospitals.

Are you still wondering how often a nurse should update their skills? As discussed today, continual learning and improvement is the only way a nurse can keep their professional skillset fresh, relevant, and up-to-date.

The best part? Continuing professional development (CPD) has many advantages for nurses. Namely, being able to broaden their professional horizons while refreshing their existing skills, and also, staying abreast of industry advancements.


Medical Device News Magazine
Medical Device News Magazine provides breaking medical device / biotechnology news. Our subscribers include medical specialists, device industry executives, investors, and other allied health professionals, as well as patients who are interested in researching various medical devices. We hope you find value in our easy-to-read publication and its overall objectives! Medical Device News Magazine is a division of PTM Healthcare Marketing, Inc. Pauline T. Mayer is the managing editor.

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