Lifelong learning is about intentionally seeking opportunities to continue to learn, grow, and develop both personally and professionally. The motivation comes from within based on a deliberate desire to know more.
Commitment to lifelong learning offers personal advantages such as enhancing confidence and self-esteem, improving job satisfaction as you build on existing knowledge, and develop new skills that can be used now or transferred to future job opportunities.
The economic factors and employability status are also strong motivators for professionals to engage in lifelong learning. Higher income and steady employment have positive effects on health, well-being and sociability. Being secure in who we are is usually accompanied by an optimistic outlook on life and greater confidence in our decision-making skills. It has been document that well-being is also associated with better health, higher levels of social and civic engagement, and greater resilience in the face of external crises (Cooper et al 2010).
As a nursing professional, to remain competent in practice, there is an expectation for ongoing education and learning which is then integrated with existing knowledge to create improved clinical knowledge and competence. As in any profession, ongoing learning keeps us current and aware of issues that are trending in our field of practice.
The following video, Lifelong Learning for Nursing succinctly captures the rationale for ongoing professional development, but also, the need to integrate critical thinking and evidence based practice to achieve ongoing professional growth.
Cooper, C., Field, J., Goswami, U., Jenkins, R. and Sahakhian, B. (2010), Mental Capital and Wellbeing, Oxford and Ames, Iowa: Wiley-Blackwell
Lifelong Learning for Nursing (Video file). (2014, August 11). Retrieved February 17, 2017, from: https://youtu.be/SXALt9_76XI