Factors influencing continuing professional development: A Delphi study among nursing experts

G.B. Brekelmans, R.F. Poell, K. van Wijk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this paper is to present an inventory of expert opinions on the factors that influence the participation of registered nurses in continuing professional development (CPD) activities.
A Delphi study was conducted among 38 Dutch experts (nursing employers, managers, education institutions, and professional associations). Data collection comprised three rounds: experts completed two consecutive rounds of questionnaires and participated in a discussion meeting.
Main influencing factors were: a CPD registration system, the attractiveness of the nursing profession, nurses ' identification with the nursing profession, opportunities for workplace learning, the line manager as role model, and attractive education programs.
Research limitations/implications
Being part of a larger study, for the present paper only nursing experts were asked their opinion about shaping CPD for nurses. Further research should bring in the views of nurses themselves and investigate how the wider environment influences CPD participation.
Practical implications
As all stakeholders were found to have their own roles in the CPD process, collaboration among employers, managers, education institutions, and professional associations will be crucial to create a conducive learning climate for nurses. HRD practitioners in healthcare can use the study findings to advise hospitals about implementing the right conditions to support CPD for nurses.
A qualitative study using the Delphi method to discover factors influencing CPD in nursing had not been conducted before. Unlike many studies looking essentially at formal education, the present paper takes into account workplace learning among nurses as well.
Keywords: Continuing professional development, Delphi study, Nurses, The Netherlands
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-325
JournalInternational journal of Training and Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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