NQN · Reflection

What is Continuous Professional Development (CPD)?

This is a requirement of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as part of your revalidation. CPD is a way to track and document your skills, knowledge and experience. Furthermore, it is a record of this experience that you learn and then you can apply it to your practice. However, this is not classed as your regular hours of work; CPD hours will be anything such as; training, events, reflections, feedback from patients and colleagues. You can now include social media use as part of your CPD (Royal college of nursing 2018).

The RCN has provided a useful guide to get you started: https://www.rcn.org.uk/professional-development/revalidation/how-social-media-can-help-you-revalidate

Following this, it is part of the NMC requirements that you must undertake 35 hours of CPD as part of the revalidation once you are a qualified nurse (NMC 2018).

Should we be completing a CPD log as students? 

As students (depending what your university does) we have our practice placement documents as a log for our learning or a portfolio to keep up to date along with 2300 hours of placement to complete to qualify.

However, I think it is great practice to start documenting CPD as a student nurse for these reasons:

  • To show your future employers and make yourself stand out of the crowd.
  • Keep a log of any extra training, events, activities you complete which has made a difference to your practice.
  • This will be fantastic practice for when you are qualified.

As a student of Birmingham City University, we are encouraged to keep a portfolio called Mahara; this is where I keep my log of CPD hours I have done.

If you are interested in creating a separate template for CPD hours, I have found one here on the NMC website which you can download and use. http://revalidation.nmc.org.uk/what-you-need-to-do/continuing-professional-development

Why should we be doing CPD?

In the health service, no matter where you are working, there are continuous changes to policies, guidelines and laws. It is important to keep your knowledge up to date with these. Moreover, this will enable you to provide a safe and efficient practice and assists you to adapt to these changes.

As part of CPD you must complete a number of reflections to support your CPD which will encourage you to become your best self through engaging with what your own strengths, weaknesses, areas of improvement, thoughts and feelings are.

You may be qualified but you will always keep some part of ‘the student’ in you as you will constantly be training, updating and growing as a nurse.



Nursing and Midwifery council (2018) Continuing professional development. Available at:  http://revalidation.nmc.org.uk/what-you-need-to-do/continuing-professional-development

Nursing and Midwifery Council (2018) How to revalidate with the NMC. Available at: https://www.nmc.org.uk/globalassets/sitedocuments/revalidation/how-to-revalidate-booklet.pdf#page=22

The Royal College of Nursing (2018) How social media can help you revalidate. Available at:  https://www.rcn.org.uk/professional-development/revalidation/how-social-media-can-help-you-revalidate

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