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Getting Started

The foundation of a CCP is self-assessment this is how nurses will identify the areas they want to focus on. Nurses should reflect on their self-assessment using the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, and ask themselves: 

  • What do I need to learn?
  • What do I want to learn?
  • What goals do I have for my professional development?
  • What are my strengths?
  • What are areas that require improvement?

Goals and Activities

Setting goals is an important part of professional development. The SMART system is used to help guide goal setting. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Therefore, a SMART goal incorporates all of these criteria to help focus a nurse’s PD activities and increase the chances of achieving that goal. 

When setting SMART goals, you can ask: 

Specific – What will I do?

Measurable – How will I know I’ve succeeded?

Attainable – Can I achieve this?

Realistic – Is this appropriate for my practice or career stage? 

Time bound – When will I achieve this by?

The Continuous Learning Activities Examples found here can help you understand what may constitute a professional learning activity. This list is by no means exhaustive. 

Evaluation

Evaluation is a key component of the CCP that runs throughout the year. 

When evaluating the impact of professional development on their practice, nurses should consider: 

  • Did I meet my learning goals?
  • How did I meet my learning goals?
  • Was the outcome valuable to me? Why or why not?
  • Who (aside from me) benefited from my CCP – clients, colleagues?
  • How have I shared or how will I share this learning experience with colleagues?
  • How have I been able to maintain and/or enhance my nursing practice? 
Sometimes nurses are unable to meet their CCP goals – this is not necessarily a bad thing. Priorities chance, as can workplaces, and personal circumstances. 
 
Nurses who don’t achieve a CCP goal can ask themselves: 
 
  • Were my learning goals SMART?
  • Are there alternative ways that I could meet my learning goals?
  • Do I need to re-assess my learning needs and revise my goals?
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