Personal and Professional development it’s your responsibility

Three months after I came to the UK, I was already dreaming of becoming a Home Manager. I spoke with my HR Manager and asked about what course I should do to become a manager. My HR Manager said that I should wait a bit longer for me to improve my English first. I told him that I heard that you need “NVQ 5 in Management and Leadership in Health Care and Social Services” training to become a manager, and he confirmed that this is true.

At home I searched online for providers of this training, I sent ten emails to ten different providers to request an offer. I choose one company, I paid the whole training in advance, and I started my NVQ5. At that time, I was not aware that I need a lot of support from my own Home Manager to guide me and certify after each module that I was competent in that particular subject. I thought that is up to me to learn alone, do all the homework and that was all. I began to hit a roadblock as my home didn’t have a manager at that time.

A few weeks later a new manager was employed, so I went to speak with her and she said that would help me. After one month, I was informed that I had to move from London to Margate (far away) to work in another home belonging to the same company. I was not happy at all but I had no choice as I had my working permit for that specific company, and if I wanted to change my job I had to apply for another work permit with a new employer (which takes a lot of time).

I believe that my manager pushed me away as she was scared that I wanted her job or the deputy manager role. The deputy manager that she employed was her friend and she didn’t have NVQ. Usually, the NVQ 5 course takes about 12 months (depending on how the study is completed by the student). For me, it took 18 months.

Nothing should stop you to do the training you want. Personal and professional development is your responsibility and not that of the manager. If you want to apply for NVQ 5, speak first with your manager and make sure you have their support. I wasted a lot of time but I got there in the end!

Potential barriers to professional development raised by most people are:

  • Financial
  • time limitations and availability (working in shifts)
  • personal barriers (difficulty to learn and assimilate new knowledge)
  • cultural diversity of the nursing workforce
  • barriers placed by family life (husband, small children)

Most of the barriers to professional development are actually excuses that people are looking for, not to make more because it is more comfortable. Also, the financial barrier can be counted as an investment if after completion of a course acquiring new skills in order to advance up the corporate ladder.

As nurses, we all need continued training, even if we are very experienced.