This paper aims to highlight some issues and tensions that currently challenge the profession, individual nurses and their employers when considering the need for continuing professional development. The Nursing and Midwifery Council states the professional requirements for continuing professional development. However the nature and type required seems to be determined by the individual on the one hand and the organisation on the other, rather than an integral part of professional activity within the context of work. This can lead to a mismatch between personal and organisational goals. Views emerged from participants in a previous case study that focused on learning through work, about support available to nurses for professional development. The perceptions of nurses and their managers about learning through work were explored, using semi structured interviews, picture mapping and structured interviews. The ‘Charity Paradigm’ is presented as an outcome of major issues within an organisation. It underpins negative perceptions of individuals about employer support of continuing professional development. It is suggested that there is a need for collaborative collective approaches to structured development in order to meet both individual and organisational needs. This is also advocated in order to achieve life long learning and transformational learning within an organisation. The tension between individual personal ambitions and employer demands can adversely affect the professional development of the practitioner and the organisation that employs them. The personal perspectives of nurses and managers about learning within their organisation are therefore important to acknowledge in terms of positive and negative influences. It is also necessary to recognise the contribution of the employer as well as the identifiable charitable contribution of individual practitioners and the input from external contributors to the organisation
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