Continuing education needs of registered nurses in Northwestern Ontario : a needs assessment approach / Laura Kokocinski.
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In Canada, there has been little progress in the development and advancement of continuing nursing education since World War II. The recent release of national and provincial documents, the trend toward specialization and the need for increased knowledge based on technological changes in practice, supports the importance of continuing nursing education and its vital role in maintaining the credibility of the profession. The purpose of this study was to investigate and describe the continuing education needs of registered nurses in Northwestern Ontario. A Needs Assessment‘s Framework for Continuing Nursing Education was developed to answer the research questions. The research design involved mailing a questionnaire to 800 registered nurses in Northwestern Ontario and personal interviews with ten participants. Data was analyzed using descriptive and correlation statistics. Continuing education needs were defined, as well as the factors which influence these needs. The findings indicated that nurses in Northwestern Ontario were interested in pursuing continuing education. However, the majority were not currently participating in continuing education. The results suggest that geographical location, educational preparation, area of employment and motivational considerations affect continuing education needs and are predictors of participation. Other variables, such as; "valuing" of continuing education, the need for professional upgrading, accessible educational offerings, educational delivery methods, the variety of educational needs and the busy lifestyles of the nurses surveyed, suggest trends or influences which may impact the continuing education needs of registered nurses in Northwestern Ontario. The present study also has several implications for continuing nursing education in Northwestern Ontario. The findings indicate that continuing education must be recognized and valued by nurses, employers and the profession as a whole. Educational offerings could then be planned and offered in a collaborative approach to meet the nurses needs. The results of this study also indicate that further research is required to explore motivational orientations, appropriate learning methods, barriers to participation, and to investigate the effectiveness of the voluntary model for continuing education.