Continuing professional development (CPD) is a key aspect of any profession and fundamental to the development of a nation. The Mandatory Continuing Professional Development Program (MCPDP) as it is known in the nursing profession in Nigeria is aimed at sustaining capabilities and introducing new skills for modern day practice needs. It also offers the prospect for nurses to improve and broaden their knowledge, expertise and develop the personal and professional qualities. This study analysed the experiences of nurses, both participants and facilitators of MCPDP during the 34th session of the MCPDP in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. A sequential explanatory mixed method design was adopted for the study. All the eighty nurses in attendance participated in the study. A self-developed semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect the quantitative data. Qualitatively, eight participants and two facilitators were selected for in-depth interviews. The findings revealed that 18.9% of the respondents attended the MCPDP for license renewal, 18.9% attended to update their knowledge on current practices, while 59.5% attended for both purposes. The challenges in attending MCPDP were lack of time 24.6%, lack of relief staff 23.3%, and high cost of MCPDP registration 20.9%. Organizational challenges included lack of finance due to low turnout of participants. Majority of the participants expressed willingness to participate in MCPDP in the future, while the few retired ones expressed having no need for MCPDP afterwards. The study disclosed that the existing approach for the program may require some form of adjustment so as to meet participants' and facilitators' needs. It was therefore recommended that the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria should review the program structure and organisation.
Key words: Mandatory professional development program, nurses, experiences.
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