The motivation of nurses to participate in continuing professional education in Ireland

Claire Murphy, Christine Cross, David McGuire

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    50 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose – The purpose of this article is to review the extant literature on CPE amongst nurses and concentrate on discovering the factors that motivate and inhibit participation in CPE for nurses in Ireland.
    Design/methodology/approach – A review of the literature was carried out on continuing professional development amongst nurses in Ireland, the UK, the USA and Australia. From this, research hypotheses were developed. The primary research concentrated on a cohort of practicing registered nurses participating in a CPE course at a third-level institution in Ireland. A questionnaire was used that contained both open and closed-ended questions.Findings – The main barriers to participation in CPE were lack of employer support and the difficulty of balancing home-life, work and study. The main motivators for participation in CPE were improving self-esteem and confidence and the expectation of increased opportunities for promotion for those with higher educational qualifications.
    Research limitations/implications – A relatively small non-random sample was used. Therefore, the results may be generalized only with caution.
    Practical implications – A number of implications for HRD practitioner emerged. These included overt recognition of prior ward-based learning, increased financial support, increased study leave and the need for the HRD practitioner to champion the cause of CPE.
    Originality/value – In order to ensure a highly efficient workforce, providing the highest possible standards of care to patients, the health sector needs its workforce to constantly update their knowledge and skills. Therefore it is an important time to consider the factors that aid and inhibit participation in CPE, a common method utilized to achieve this aim.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)365-384
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of European Industrial Training
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2005


    • continuing professional development, management development, motivation (psychology), health services, Ireland


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