Thursday, October 28, 2010

Secret Study

10/28/10 - An interesting concept on how nurses secretly pursue advanced education while avoiding traditional criticism from peers.                          

This paper is the first to explore the concept of ‘secret study’, and does this within the context of perioperative nursing practice.

Career advancement in modern times generally requires additional professional development in the form of advanced education. Too often, those who make this decision to enroll in study begin to receive negative attitudes from their peers and colleagues. As a new graduate, I have witnessed this phenomena first hand in my decision to immediately re-register for higher education. Colleagues and mentors at work question my lack of experience. Unfortunately, this trend is believed to more wide spread and perhaps contributing to the "education-practice" gap. 

Formal post-registration continuing professional education (CPE) has been explored previously, however, not from the perspectives of perioperative nurses. Using a descriptive qualitative approach, interviews were conducted with 23 perioperative nurses who had recent experience of formal university-based study. Analysis of interview transcripts revealed the extent to which participants revealed their CPE lay on a continuum; some told all colleagues they were studying (‘public study’) whilst others told no-one (‘secret study’). These decisions appeared to relate to the cultural discourse of their workplace, participants' academic confidence, and potential ramifications of failure. The concept of ‘secret study’ has not previously been explored, but is of significance to both nurses and educators: further research is required to indicate transferability of these findings outside of perioperative care.

Literature review produced evidence for the following statements:
  • If senior staff are committed to educational development, or themselves studying, peers are more likely to study as well
  • Negative attitudes, such as jealousy and feeling threatened, from senior staff discourage colleagues to enroll in advanced education
After conducting several interviews, researchers found that some choose to study in secret as gaining academic qualification lead to negative reactions from colleagues. They also "suggest established staff are more likely to be exposed to horizontal violence for traversing the anti-academic discourse of nursing and studying openly than newly qualified nurses, however newly qualified nurses are more likely to want to conform. Thus, both newly qualified and established nurses may have motives to study secretly."

More will follow as I expect to experience more these attitudes first hand. For those readers who have advanced education, did you experience similar attitudes. If not, how did your employer promote educational advancement?

Article Referenced

Tame, S. (2011). Secret study: A new concept in continuing professional education. Nurse Education Today, 31(5), 482-487.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

KSAs of Preceptors

Highlighting the importance of developing knowledge, skills, and attitudes among preceptors.                      

This study focused on preceptors’ perceptions in relation to undergraduate student learning. Participants were surveyed after completing a preceptor training program.

In nursing education, a key element in the learning process is left up for chance. Clinical educators rely upon staff nurses to work closely with students throughout the day to provide learning opportunities and skill practice. Unfortunately, instructors often focus on the patient-student experience potential rather than a nurse's ability to actor as an effective preceptor for the student. Recent evidence suggests that trained preceptors offer a better clinical experience for nursing students.

Within the context of nursing education in Australia, the registered nurse (RN) preceptor plays an invaluable role with nursing students; however, many are not specifically trained for this role. This study explored the perceptions of practicing preceptors from one health care facility after completion of a specially designed preceptor program. Results indicated that the participants perceived that the program had increased their knowledge of teaching and learning and increased their skills as preceptors. Further results suggested that when the RN preceptor's knowledge of the teaching and learning process increased, it led to an increase in the RN preceptor's generic preceptor skills. This increased the RN preceptor's confidence, leading to a more positive attitude toward student nurses and a positive effect on preceptor functioning, enhancing the preceptor's ability to include students more in daily nursing tasks.

A literature review introduces the roles that students and preceptors must assume to develop a strong "community of practice."

  • Able to build relationships
  • Share nursing experience
  • Handle different situations
  • Become part of the profession

  • Must facilitate orientation and socialization
  • Aid in personal development of student nurse
  • Assist with time prioritization
  • Promote nursing skills and care management development
  • Critique critical thinking and problem solving abilities
The methods and results indicate that an increased focus should be on the preceptor's ability communicate. Additionally, the preceptor must able to to identify and manage different learning styles of students. Educational institutions and health care facilities that utilize preceptor training programs are capable of producing nursing graduates that are experience and highly trained ready for the transition into professional practice.

Article Reference
Smedley A., Morey P., & Race P. (2010). Enhancing the Knowledge, Attitudes, and Skills of Preceptors: An Australian Perspective. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing. doi: 10.3928/00220124-20100601-08. [Epub ahead of print]

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New RN eD series - Writing in Nursing

Comments on a commentary regarding the state of nurse's ability to read and write at a "publication level" worldwide.                              

At a recent conference of International Academy of Nursing Editors, the future of nursing literature was discussed. Marion E. Broome returned to the states to publish a commentary about the proceedings of the conference. She introduces three main topics
  1. Digitization of print publications
  2. Nursing media in countries without advancing technology
  3. Voices of nurses in ink

Digitization of Print Publications
"There has been a continued evolution in journal publishing—particularly related to the inevitable change in how the primary venue for dissemination has changed."

The internet is steadily succeeding in becoming the dominant vehicle of spreading news and information around the world. In recent years, a constant decline in subscriptions has led to the demise of many, many newspaper circulations around the world. Of those who manage to survive, many if not most rose to the challenge to embrace the continually evolving technology.

Journal publishers are using lessons learned from the newspaper industry to quickly adapt and offer web based services to maintain audiences. The simplest step is allowing digital databases at institutions and universities to host current issues. Other journals are going as far to utilize RSS feeds and social networks to alert users for customizable updates.

However this revolution doesn't come without concern.

Nursing media in countries without advancing technology
"Perspectives [were shared] on the criticality of access to knowledge by nurses around the world—many in places where the internet is unavailable."

This obvious hindrance continues to linger into the 21st century in many areas of the globe. In developing countries, nurses are still struggling to gain professional recognition and adequate supplies for care. Internet is still seen as a luxury in many regions of the world and it may take some time for global open internet initiatives to have a significant impact.

Voice of nurses in ink
"Publishing is much more than an important exercise for promotion in academic circles. The written word whether in print or any other medium is a powerful vehicle for making visible what nurses know, who they are, and what they can do to make a difference."

A major concern for nurse editors and educators is the continual decline of publishing participation from nurses outside the academic. Reason for this concern lies in the possible re-fragmentation of the education, practice, and research spheres within the nursing profession. There are many contributing factors including the lack of internet as discussed earlier.

Ultimately, nurse editors and publishers can play a vital role in continuing to promote the interactions within the several disciplines of nursing. As they partner with technology, new techniques for knowledge dissemination will aid in their endeavor to empower nurses around the world.

Article Reference
Broome, M. (2010). Publish or perish: The stature of nursing worldwide. Nursing Outlook, 58(5), 221-222.