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Mental health nurses struggle to find time to take part in CPD

With NHS CPD budget cuts, high vacancies and the pandemic, it’s easy to see why achieving continuing professional development hours is challenging

Mental health nurses struggle to find time to take part in CPD
Illustration: iStock

The essential place of continuing professional development (CPD) in mental health nursing was identified in Health Education England’s major review of the profession published earlier this year. Yet the review also found that nurses struggled to get time away from work to take part in CPD and to find specialty specific courses.

Add to that the 2015 cut in the NHS CPD budget, high vacancy rates, the long-term effects of the pandemic and now the rising cost of living and it’s not difficult to see why achieving CPD hours is such a challenge.

‘It is unfair – and perverse – that while CPD is mandatory for revalidation, employers are neither legally required to provide time for it nor to provide protected time off’

Time to complete CPD is the most expensive resource

Our analysis explores a variety of paid and free CPD opportunities, some of which you may not have previously considered: taking part in a Twitter debate, for example. Still, time to complete CPD is the most expensive resource.

It is unfair, and perverse, that while CPD is mandatory for revalidation, employers are neither legally required to provide time for it nor to provide protected time off. The onus falls on you to take responsibility for your professional development and so the analysis also provides practical suggestions on approaching your manager to get the CPD you need.

Part of Mental Health Practice’s mission is to educate nurses throughout their career and its archive of CPD articles is available at rcni.com/CPD-for-mental-health-nurses The CPD article and multiple-choice quiz in our September issue are an ideal opportunity to meet revalidation requirements. The topic – improving quality in healthcare – is at the heart of practice.

Recognising that the need to improve the quality of care is a constant requirement, not least at a time of financial constraints and staffing shortages, authors Sarah Galloway and Justin Earl present a case study to show how nurses on an inpatient ward used quality improvement methods to address the low completion rate of weekly named-nurse key work sessions.


Lisa Berry is joint editor of Mental Health Practice

Have you tried RCNi Plus yet?

RCNi Plus offers unlimited access to RCNi Learning, Mental Health Practice, our 9 specialist journals and RCNi Portfolio to store your CPD for revalidation. Use the discount code TRYPLUS to trial it for just £1 a week for 12 weeks. Go to RCNi Plus Tryplus Promotion for details

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