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CONSTRAINING FACTORS TO CONTINUING EDUCATION AMONG NURSES IN THREE SELECTED HOSPITALS IN ENUGU STATE

CHAPTER ONE

 INTRODUCTION

 Background of the Study
 Professional development needs are challenged by multifarious reasons that place barriers to their fulfillment. The World Health Organization World Health Report (WHO, 2000) states that human resources are the most important of the health system’s resource inputs. The performance of health care systems ultimately depends on the knowledge, skills and motivation of the people responsible for delivering services. Education and training are key investment tools as old skills become obsolete with the advent of new technologies (Richards, 2008). This is in line with strategic planning of World Health reports, which places emphasis on the need for continuing care providers. Nurses are required to be competent practitioners, have scientific base for education for health practice, be knowledgeable to communicate with increasingly informed patients/family members and have a mastery of technology in the dynamic arena of patient care and condition. As an example, where education and training for junior nurses functions poorly, or where senior staff lack adequate time and resources to update their knowledge and skills, future shortfalls can be expected. The Nursing Professional Development Scope and Standard of practice,(NPDSSP) defined Continuing education (CE), or Continuing Professional Development(CPD) as “systematic professional learning experience designed to augment the knowledge, skills, and attributes of nurses that enrich their contribution to quality health care and pursuit of professional goals(NPDSSP,2010). Similarly, the American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC) posits that continuing nursing education are those experiences intended to build upon the educational and experiential bases of the professional registered nurse (RN) for the advancement of practice, education and administration in conjunction with research or theoretical development with a view to improving the health of the public and registered nurse pursuit of professional career goals (ANCC, 2011). The importance of continuing education and its relationship to professional development, licensing and re-licensing cannot be overemphasized. A programme of continuing professional development can be viewed as having a range of functions, namely: the maintenance role that fosters the notions of life-long learning; the survival role that requires practitioners to demonstrate their ongoing competence; and the mobility role that aims to increase a person’s employability. In the health care arena, scientific and technological advances lead to obsolescence of knowledge and professional skill in remarkably short time. Among the significant changes are shifts in population demography, particularly the increase in the aging population; cultural diversity of the population; changing patterns of disease; increased technology; increased consumer expectations; the high costs of health care; the changes in health care financing as well as other health care reforms. These changes have led to institutional restructuring, staff downsizing, increased quality care, decreased lengths of hospital stay and more care being provided in the community and in homes. These changes coupled with changes in nursing practice create demand on nurses to undertake continuing education programmes to remain competent and relevant (Deloughery, 1999). Inferably, comprehensive basic professional preparation is no longer sufficient for a whole life of practice; and given the emphasis on evidence-based practice, nurses need to continuously update their knowledge and professional abilities. In view of these imperatives, continuing education has increasingly become essential to guarantee high quality nursing practice (Schweitzer & Krassa, 2010). Furthermore, the changing health care delivery system has noticeable impact on nursing care delivery models. Nurses in advanced countries have assumed such expanded roles as independent nurse practitioners in many areas. These new roles are pointers to how nursing will continue to evolve in the health care system in many countries. Such changes are having dramatic influences on where nurses practice with an increasing trend to provide health care in hospitals, home settings, communities here in Nigeria and be able to fit into the system in the developed countries like America and United Kingdom (Olade, 2005). This situation is a challenge to the present Nigerian Nurse, which needs to be met. The trends require polyvalent nurses knowledgeable in most if not all aspects of human life, to enable her render evidence based services to the individuals and the society as a whole. To meet these emerging needs, the profession needs to re-evaluate not only the curricula for new graduates but also that of maintenance of competence in nursing practice. It is therefore necessary that Nurses undergo continuing education in form of workshops, seminars, conferences, symposia, and above all undertake nursing education at university level to meet up with professional responsibilities to the society. Continuing education program of the nurse at the university level exposes her to related courses such as Humanities, Medical Sociology, Law, Public Relations, Health Economics, Health (Nursing) Informatics, Psychology, and a host of other Nursing Science courses. These courses will help the graduate nurses to relate with other health care professionals from other disciplines. The knowledge of personality traits through psychology and effect of culture and belief on health will enhance the effective implementation of the Nursing Service. Nurses with this level of education have been linked to improved patient outcomes and delivery of more cost effective/ quality care (WHO, 2000). In addition, evidence revealed that expanding the amount of care provided by University (BSN) prepared Nurses on hospital units to 80% would result in significantly lowered re-admission rates, reduced medical errors, shorten length of patients stay on admission in the hospital. These outcomes translate with cost savings that would more than offset expenses for increasing the number of BSN educated nurses in hospital settings. Higher education and advanced degrees adequately prepare registered nurses (RNs) to develop process improvements, which address medical errors, acquire more knowledge and skill and be more assertive and confident in their practice (Institute of medicine (IOM), 2010). Continuing education enhances previous learning and enables learners to keep up with contemporary changes.

Project detailsContents
 
Number of Pages174 pages
Chapter one Introduction
Chapter two Literature review
Chapter three  methodology
Chapter  four  Data analysis
Chapter  five Summary,discussion & recommendations
ReferenceReference
QuestionnaireQuestionnaire
AppendixAppendix
Chapter summary1 to 5 chapters
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