Learning to Learn: Professional Development Strategies for Nurses

Nurses must always be learning to maintain and enhance their professional nursing competence. With constant changes and advancements in technology and medical knowledge, a nurse’s competencies and skills soon become outdated. As a result, their nursing practice becomes less effective – putting safe and ethical client health care at risk.

This eCourse is designed to motivate and assist healthcare practitioners to embrace ongoing continuing education and professional development. The course consists of seven modules including supplementary resources and a final exam. The first group of topics includes why continuous professional learning is important; how to assess your learning needs; and how to plan and evaluate your learning activities. The second set of topics is about digital learning – what it is; its many different aspects; how to use it for professional development; and risks and dangers associated with using digital technologies. The third group of topics covers such things as how to improve your memory; how to study more effectively and efficiently; how to organize your learning activities; and how to better manage your time.

To access a learning activity, simply click/tap on a Link below. Once you have completed an activity, return to this page to go to the next activity. We strongly recommend that the activities be done in the order shown; however, you are free to select your own learning paths.

Module 1: Introduction

1.1 Course introduction – A narrated multi-media overview of the course purpose, content and format, and suggestions on how to get the most out from this course (9 slides).

1.2 Navigation tutorial – A one-minute tour of the video player and its controls.

1.3 Podcast – To listen to this audio-only version, use the player below; or you can download the podcast (use the download link on player) to listen to it off-line at your convenience (11:14 minutes).

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1.4 Handout – A printable (pdf) version of the presentation slides and narration that can be viewed and/or downloaded for off-line use.

Module 2: Continuing Competence

2.1 Continuing competence – A narrated multi-media presentation on the importance of lifelong professional development and continuing competence, a six step competence program, and competency development strategies (21 slides).

2.2 Podcast – To listen to this audio-only version, use the player below; or you can download the podcast (use the download link on player) to listen to it off-line at your convenience (14:53 minutes).

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2.3 Handout – A printable (pdf) version of the presentation slides and narration that can be viewed and/or downloaded for off-line use.

2.4 Knowledge checkup – A flash-card type of interactive exercise to assess, review and reinforce your knowledge of the content and concepts provided in this module.

2.5 Online quiz – A short quiz on the contents of this module (20 random questions from 24).

Module 3: Digital Learning

3.1 Digital learning – A narrated multi-media presentation on digital literacy and learning, benefits and challenges of digital learning, finding online resources,  descriptions of the most common digital learning technologies, and how to get the most out of them (22 slides).

3.2 Podcast – To listen to this audio-only version, use the player below; or you can download the podcast (use the download link on player) to listen to it off-line at your convenience (22:15 minutes).

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3.3 Handout – A printable (pdf) version of the presentation slides and narration that can be viewed and/or downloaded for off-line use.

3.4 Knowledge checkup – A flash-card type of interactive exercise to assess, review and reinforce your knowledge of the content and concepts provided in this module.

3.5 Online quiz – A short quiz on the contents of this module (20 random questions from 45).

Module 4: Learning Strategies

4.1 Learning strategies – A narrated multi-media presentation with tips for successful learning / professional development, and suggestions for improving your study habits (17 slides).

4.2 Podcast – To listen to this audio-only version, use the player below; or you can download the podcast (use the download link on player) to listen to it off-line at your convenience (15:27 minutes).

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4.3 Handout – A printable (pdf) version of the presentation slides and narration that can be viewed and/or downloaded for off-line use.

4.4 Online quiz – A short quiz on the contents of this module (20 random questions from 45).

Module 5: Risks and Dangers

5.1 Risks and dangers – A narrated multi-media presentation on the risks and dangers associated with digital learning technologies such as identity theft, infection prevention and control, personal safety, privacy and confidentiality, unethical conduct, professional boundaries and malware (12 slides).

5.2 Podcast – To listen to this audio-only version, use the player below; or you can download the podcast (use the download link on player) to listen to it off-line at your convenience (8:53 minutes).

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5.3 Handout – A printable (pdf) version of the presentation slides and narration that can be viewed and/or downloaded for off-line use.

5.4 Knowledge checkup – A flash-card type of interactive exercise to assess, review and reinforce your knowledge of the content and concepts provided in this module.

5.5 Online quiz – A short quiz on the contents of this module (20 random questions from 30).

Module 6: Related Resources

6.1 My Learning Styles – We learn by seeing, hearing and doing. Most of us have a preferred mode of learning. Take this anonymous self-scoring test to identify your preferred learning style(s), what it means, and what you can do to maximize learning effectiveness using your preferred learning style(s).

6.2 My Time Management – Time is required for professional learning. Take this anonymous self-scoring test to identify your time management (TM) strengths and weaknesses on 4 dimensions – organization, discipline, communication and saying “No”. Tips are provided on how to improve your TM skills to make more time for professional development.

6.3 Pomodoro Technique – A highly effective method of studying in 25 minutes segments followed by 5 minute breaks. (YouTube video – 5:48 minutes).

6.4 How to Learn Anything Faster – Five tips for increasing your learning speed by Practical Psychology. (YouTube video – 6:17 minutes).

6.5 The Most Powerful Way to Remember What You Study – The video by Thomas Frank explains research on how the brain works and the implications for more effective learning and study habits (YouTube – 7:46 minutes).

6.6 Feynman Technique – This video by Med School Insiders demonstrates how to use the Feynman technique to master difficult and complex concepts (YouTube – 5:45 minutes).

6.7 Super Human Productivity and Efficiency – Another video by Med School Insiders providing useful strategies on how to get organized and improve your personal and professional productivity (YouTube – 9:03 minutes).

6.8 Online Classes: Tips for Success – This video by the Penguin Prof examines research about what works, what doesn’t, and the advantages and challenges of online courses. Some excellent recommendations and tips are provided on getting the most from online courses for your professional development (YouTube – 10:48 minutes).

6.9 On Guard Online – Federal Trade Commission (USA) website with security tips, information and videos about how to stay safe and secure when using online / Internet resources.

6.10 Learning in a Digital World – This is the research report that was used for the slides in Module 3: Digital Learning. This fully annotated report includes topics such as: benefits and challenges of digital learning; finding, accessing and using digital learning resources; technologies for communication and interactions; tools to assist and manage learning; and associated risks and dangers (interactive PDF).

Module 7: Evaluation and References

7.1 Final Course Exam – A final exam on the contents of this course, including the videos (60 random questions from 144 with Certificate). IMPORTANT: To obtain a Certificate, you must be connected to the Internet, and cookies must be enabled in your browser.  Otherwise the exam results cannot be sent to the Certificate script. Also, do NOT use the iSpring App as it does not support cookies.

7.2 Nootropic Watchdog: 15 Study Hacks to Improve your Memory – This article was the inspiration and source for the content presented in Module 4. Permission was obtained to use the information from this article in our course.

7.3 Learning in a Digital World references – This is a list of the sources used in compiling this Research Report. The information in this Report was the basis for the content presented in Modules 3 and 5 (interactive PDF).

Technology Notes

Accessible on mobile devicesThe Final Exam and quizzes can be completed on regular browsers, computer tablets and smart phones.

The presentations, podcasts and knowledge checkups can be played on regular browsers, tablets and mobile phones. For best viewing on Apple's devices, download and install the FREE Articulate Player App from the iTunes Store. If you are using an Android device, download and install the FREE Android Player App from Google Play. With these apps, all components can be downloaded to your mobile device for off-line use.

To view and download the PDF/PRINT documents requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

If you are using these quizzes or final exams for class assignments or continuing education credits, and want a copy of the Results for your records, enter your name when requested. Otherwise, use "Guest" and proceed with the quiz or exam.