The purpose of this paper is to describe and compare the views of nurses of different ages on continuing professional development (CPD). The authors were interested in possible differences in the use of formal and especially informal CPD practices between nurses of different ages, and likewise in possible differences in attitudes of nurses of different ages to CPD.
A postal questionnaire was sent to a random sample of nursing staff (n=653) in six Finnish hospital districts. Three age groups were formed for this study: 39 or under, 40‐50 and 51 or older. The data were analyzed with statistical methods.
The youngest nurses participated least in those CPD practices that enhanced transfer of tacit knowledge. In addition, they reported more experiences of injustice in terms of CPD than their older colleagues.
These results are preliminary, but supported by earlier research.
A crucial challenge for nursing management is how to balance the needs of nurses of different ages and enable the use of all the options currently available for CPD in health care organizations. Nurse managers need also to consider opportunities for workplace learning when they allocate nursing resources in their units. Due to the retirement of older workers it is essential to make tacit knowledge explicit in health care organizations and give the younger workers an opportunity to learn from older nurses' experiences and vice versa.
Recent studies have emphasized the importance of retaining older workers. The results of the effects of age on participating in different CPD practices have been somehow contradictory.
Lammintakanen, J. and Kivinen, T. (2012), "Continuing professional development in nursing: does age matter?", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 34-47. https://doi.org/10.1108/13665621211191096Download as .RIS
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