Continuing Professional Development Motives and Activities of Nurses in the Netherlands

Wednesday, July 13, 2011: 8:50 AM

Gerard Brekelmans, RN, MSc
Department Education and Research, University Hospital Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Learning Objective 1: mentioned motives of Nurses to participate in Continuous Professional Development

Learning Objective 2: describe the perception of nurses in the Netherlands according Continuous Professional Development


 The aim of this study is to provide an insight into nurses’ motives for participation in CPD activities as well as their views on the most relevant CPD activities and those actually undertaken


 An exploratory quantitative study using a survey questionnaire was undertaken among a large sample of Dutch nurses (N=1440). Data were cross-sectional in nature.


Nurses mentioned four motives for participating in CPD activities. The most frequently emerging motives were personal and professional development (95 per cent), meeting legal requirements (78 per cent), and raising the status of the profession (73 per cent).

With the exception of doing research (50 per cent), all other CPD activities were deemed important by a large majority of respondents. Especially staying up to date was thought to be an extremely important CPD activity (96 per cent).

In terms of CPD activities actually conducted, a more differentiated picture emerged. Staying up to date was engaged in by 70 per cent of the respondents, whereas only 7 per cent participated in doing research themselves. Approximately half of the sample took part in policy-making activities, while approximately one third of them had enrolled in training


Nurses’ motives for participating in CPD activities in the present study are largely in line with earlier research both in the Netherlands and internationally (Gould, Drey, & Pearcy, 1999; Quinn, 1998; Speets & Francke, 2004; van Grinsven & Westerik, 2009). On the whole, the percentage of nurses deeming a specific type of CPD activities important is far higher than the contingent actually participating in that particular type. It may be the case that the gap between deeming CPD activities important and actually undertaking them gets wider as the particular type of CPD activity becomes further removed from the everyday working and learning experiences of nurses.