Daily Nurse (01/08/24) Cole, Nina
For nurses, continued professional development has numerous benefits, including enhanced job satisfaction, burnout prevention and increased expertise, writes Nina Cole. With professional development opportunities, nurses stay up-to-date on their knowledge, increasing their adaptability and sense of accomplishment and helping to prevent career stagnation. A recent study found that healthcare workers with low self-esteem are much more likely to feel acute stress and burnout compared with healthcare workers with high self-esteem. "By fostering skill mastery and recognizing your expertise through achievements and certifications, professional development can give you a vital sense of competence, confidence and the opportunity for career advancement," writes Cole, and this leads to greater self-esteem, job satisfaction and resilience. Another study found that engaging in professional development activities led nurses to report higher self-esteem and motivation to perform well. Professional development experiences can also lead to enhanced teamwork and morale for nurses. "Notably, effective teamwork is pivotal in preventing burnout and, specifically, reducing emotional exhaustion and depersonalization (referring to emotional distancing from patients and colleagues) among nurses while also improving professional accomplishment," Cole adds. The collaborative learning environment in most professional development opportunities - such as with seminars and workshops - also boost communications skills and teamwork. These factors can also lead to a greater sense of belonging, positivity and fulfillment.