View All Articles
  • 30 June 2021
  • 11 min read

A Guide To Planning Your CPD Nursing Training

Subscribe To Advice
    • Richard Gill
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Laura Bosworth
    • Mat Martin
  • 0
  • 2617
Play video: "You want to be thinking about yourself, your personal growth, your personal development, your professional development as well."

Continuing her guides to NMC Revalidation, GP Nurse, Claire, shares her simple steps for planning your CPD training with tips on developing yourself, both personally and professionally.

Topics covered in this article


Set Yourself Smart Goals

Give Yourself A SWOT Analysis

Use The Help Available

Update Your CPD Log As You Go

Reevaluate Everything

CPD Training Doesn't Have To Be Difficult

Search Jobs

1000s of jobs for Nurses & Care Professionals. No.1 for UK nursing, care & healthcare jobs.

Search Jobs


Hi everyone.

So today I'm taking you through some simple steps in how to plan your CPD training.

Not just for your professional development but for your personal growth and development too.

Set Yourself Smart Goals

First, you want to be setting yourself some smart goals.

You need to assess your current situation.

What are you doing? What training do you actually need to do, your mandatory training for your job?

That is your first step.

So what do you need to do?

You'll need your probably your manual handling, your infection control, safeguarding, information governance, health and safety at work.

All these mandatory training, they have to be done.

But you don't want to just think about mandatory training, you want to be thinking about yourself, your personal growth, your personal development, your professional development as well.

What is going to help you to get to where you be. And this is why you need your smart goals.

So where do you see yourself?

Look at your short term smart goals, The next three months, for example, what do I want to do? Where do I see myself?

Then go on to your next maybe six months.

What do I want to do in six months? Where do I see myself?

What do I need to achieve in six months?

Then maybe longterm planning in the next year, two years, three years, however many years you want it.

This is your smart goals. This is your personal development.

So you can create a timeline of however long you want, but wherever you see yourself in so many years time or a year's time, you need to put steps in place.

Little building blocks to get you up there to where you want to be.

Start making lists. This is the way I do it, I look ahead.

Where do I want to be in five years time?

What do I want to achieve? So I want to be working in education of some sort.

I want to teach student Nurses, for example.

How do I get there? And I'll literally go ahead and then I work myself backwards.

What do I need to do to get there to my main goal?

What Do You Think?

Ask questions, comment and like this article below! Share your thoughts, add your opinion in the comments below.


Give Yourself A SWOT Analysis

And I fully understand not everyone wants to progress.

Not everyone wants to become a manager.

Not everyone wants to become a Charge Nurse and in charge of a ward or anything like that.

That's absolutely fine

But think about the things that you might want to do skills wise, clinical skills wise. Things like, if you can't do IVs and you want to do IVs. How am I going to get there?

How am I going to do the training to do that?

And a good way of doing it as well is ask yourself three simple questions.

What do you want to achieve? What do you need to learn?

How you'll do that. How will you learn it?

How will you get that achievement? Another great tool to use for this is a SWOT analysis.

You're going to want to put little subheadings.

You want your strengths, your weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

And you want to just make little lists.

What are your strengths? What are you really good at? What do you strive on?

What are your weaknesses?

And dig deep, be really open and honest with yourself.

What are you just really not good at?

And it's okay because we've all got those things.

I'm really not good.

I'm a GP Nurse so I'm not good with leaky legs, leaky, swollen legs just baffles me.

And I'm just like, I've got no idea.

So you want to be thinking, what are my weaknesses?

Where do I downfall and how can I improve these opportunities?

So what opportunities are there for you in your workplace?

And threats, what's going to stop you.

I'm going to guess that the biggest threat at the minute is time.

Having the time to do this. And then once you've got all these things down on a piece of paper, you've done your SWOT analysis.

Then you start to create these goals, these smart goals.

So what are you going to focus on?

I would personally focus on your weaknesses.

Which ones you want to do first basically.

So which one is your priority?

Which one are you going to get the most from?

Which one's going to help you along in your career but also develop yourself personally as well?

That's the one I would be picking.

Use The Help Available

So now you've got your list.

What do you do next?

Then you're going to have a little research around.

Whatever your weaknesses is, whichever one you've chosen to focus on, have a little research.

Have a look at your local trust's courses, as well as the courses here on

Are there any courses you can go on?

So I'm part of the Wessex LMC training and they always provide really, really good courses for wound management, for IVs, for legs, for whatever you want basically, they've pretty much got it.

See what's around.

And if it's something that's going to personally help you, then absolutely sign up for it.

Make the use of social media groups as well.

So networking is a really, really good tool.

I love Twitter. The amount of Nurses that are on Twitter is insane.

And I just love following people.

And I love getting information from these people because someone will always have the answer out there.I'll just put a tweet out saying, oh my God, I need this, this or this and someone will say, oh, have you looked at this?

Have you looked at this? And they'll just throw all these ideas.

So networking on social media is brilliant.

Facebook groups.

If you haven't got Twitter, Instagram, put it out there, put out what you need. And hopefully someone will give you a sensible answer.

So you've done your SWOT analysis.

You've got your list, you know what you need to do.

And you've had a little research around.

You've found a really good course but it costs money and you don't want to pay 150 pounds for a course or 250 pounds for a course.

So you're thinking, oh, what do I do now?

You go to your manager. If you can show that this is going to help you in your job, in your personal growth, they should hopefully give you some sort of funding for it.

There's also things like the RCN Foundation.

There's the Burdett Trust.

There's all different trusts and foundations that actually provide funding for courses and personal development and leadership programs and stuff like that.

So have a look around again.

Network on social media.

Find out what funding opportunities that are for you.

But I'm hoping that your trust is going to invest in you and provide you with really, really good courses.

Become A Community Contributor

Share your story to help and inspire others. Write or create a video about your job or your opinions!


Update Your CPD Log As You Go

Any courses or anything you do, make sure you log it on your CPD log.

The NMC have a really good template.

This is the one that I use. I print it off, fill it in as I go because it's just easier that way.

But this is it.

Just in case you need to see one, this is the log.

Just put down all of the information, the dates and all of that jazz.

Do it as you go.

'Cause then it would just be far simpler than trying to remember and fish out your certificates and emails and things like that for courses that you've been on later down the line.

And what I've done as well, I've got a folder.

So I keep all my certificates in one folder with my CPD log and keep it all together, ready for my revalidation as well.

But it's really good to sort of create a portfolio for yourself as well.

So you can show your employers what you're doing, how you getting on, all of the things that you've achieved.

And hopefully if you're going to go for a promotion, for example, you can show them this and show all of the work that you've done to help develop yourself professionally and personally.

And once you've done training courses or learning or e-learning, anything like that.

Once you've done what you've done and you've got that little bit more knowledge and you feel like you've grown a little bit, go back and reevaluate.

Reevaluate Everything

Reevaluate your SWOT analysis, reevaluate your smart goals.

Okay, what are my next steps?

What do I want to do next?

What do I want to achieve next?

I've ticked that off the list, so let's work on some other things.

'Cause as you go, you'll realise that actually there's a lot more things that you want to do.

There's a lot more things that you want to achieve.

That's what I've found anyway.

The more I do, the more I want to do on top of what I'm doing.

It's a never ending cycle.

Nursing is definitely a lifelong learning experience and we will always be training as far as we can.

And you can always use a reflection tool to reflect back on what you've done.

Ask yourself some really good questions.

What did you get out of that course or that training or whatever you've done to help you grow?

What did you get from that?

What have you learned?

How did you learn it?

But most importantly, how are you going to apply that into practice?

What are you now going to do with all of this training and information that you've just done?

Like I said, does this flag up then additional development that would be helpful for you to undertake for your future practice?

And most importantly, how is this going to benefit your patients in the long run?

And how is it going to prepare you for your future goals?

Food for thought guys.

But if you start to do this with everything you do, if you write just a short reflection on the training and how you put it into place.

How is it going to benefit you?

This is really good.

You're now starting to build some answers to some questions.

If you get an interview for a band six or seven or eight position, for example, you're saying all of this stuff and you're showing that actually you are emotionally aware.

You're very aware of your training needs and your development.

And you've done something about that.

But you haven't just done something about it.

You're now putting it into practice.

You're using this to help patients, to be a better person, to help your colleagues, whatever you're doing.

It's showing some really, really good emotional intelligence and all that jazz.

CPD Training Doesn't Have To Be Difficult

There's no right or wrong answers to CPD.

This is your personal journey.

And people often forget that.

People are sort of thinking, oh, what can I do?

But if you just think about what you want in life, what you want from life, what do you want from your job.

You want an easier life.

Okay, how are you going to make that easier by the courses that you can do?

Or the development, the training sessions, anything like that.

This is about you.

This is about your journey and everyone will be completely different in their journey and what they want to do.

Like I said at the very start, I'd like to go into education at some point and do some of that.

That's not for everybody. Some people are probably thinking, oh my God, why, why Claire?

Why do you want to do that? Are you mad?

Probably, but that's my journey.

And that's the way that I want to do it.

That's the way I want to progress.

And you will have your own journey.

So it's really important to think about your journey.

Where you want to be, where you don't want to be.

How's that going to help you in your workplace and your own personal development?

Like I said.

So that is it from me.

I hope I've given you some really good tips and advice and some food for thought for the day.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you.

If there's something I haven't covered that you'd like to know more about, put a comment.

I'll get back to you.

But that is it for me for now.

And I sure wish you a good luck on your Nursing journey.

And I'm going to leave you with this beautiful quote from Master Choa Kok Sui.

Had to read that then because I don't know how to say it.

I'm really sorry. I'm going to put it here.

But they say your future is in your hands, you just have to plant the right seeds.

Care Professionals Helping One Another is a community where people like you can contribute and share advice. Learn & never miss out on updates. Subscribe to be part of our community.

About the author

I am a Registered Nurse with over 12 years healthcare experience including: elderly care, orthopaedics, sexual health / family planning, qualified GP nurse, transgender healthcare and now in my new role as an assistant lecturer (as of Nov 2022). I believe that nursing gets a lot of bad press, so I create blogs and vlogs to help anyone considering their nursing career and to create positivity surrounding our profession as I'm so passionate about nursing.

    • Richard Gill
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Laura Bosworth
    • Mat Martin
  • 0
  • 2617

Want to get involved in the discussion
Sign In Join