The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is calling on nursing employers in all settings to ensure their staff have access to CPD and guaranteed protected time.
In a report looking into CPD for nurses in the UK, the RCN warned that there is a ‘significant risk’ that nurses in all settings may struggle to achieve the 35 hours required to meet revalidation requirements.
The college cites unpublished data from their 2017 employment survey, which found that 15% of nurses in England, and more than 25% of nurses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, had not completed their mandatory CPD training.
‘Any financial restrictions on CPD could mean registered nurses being unable to revalidate and further erode retention in the nursing profession,’ the report states.
They have called on the devolved governments to commit additional funding for CPD, ringfenced for this purpose, and on Health Education England to reverse cuts to CPD budgets in England that have seen funding fall from £205m to £83.4m in the last two years.
Janet Davies, chief executive of the RCN, said: ‘Nurses make up half the NHS workforce and, as a society, we cannot afford for their training to be an optional extra. These short-sighted cuts must be reversed.
‘For the sake of patient safety, nurses must be allowed to keep up-to-date with developments and advance into tomorrow’s nurse leadership positions.
‘Policymakers and employers must find a way to fund and guarantee this time. Nurses must not be allowed to fall foul of the regulator’s requirement.’
The report follows a call from a Commons health select committee in January to reverse CPD budget cuts in England, after they claimed that ‘too little attention’ had been given to retaining nurses.