Blending learning: The preferred choice of clinical nurse educators to provide continuing professional development

Antonia Arnaert, Hamza Ahmad, Norma Ponzoni, Catherine Oliver, Adriana Grugel-Park


Introduction and objective: A clinical nurse educators’ (CNE) work is primarily focused on ensuring that fellow registered nurses have the skills and training to improve their clinical practice and maintain their professional competence. In recent years, resource limitations and a growing emphasis on self-directed learning have increased the pressure on nurse-educators to integrate e-learning into their teaching methods. While research has evaluated the experiences of nurses on this topic, limited understanding is known of CNEs’ experiences. Purpose: This qualitative study explored the CNEs’ experiences in facilitating continuing professional development for their nurses and the integration of e-learning in a University Health Center in Quebec, Canada.

Methods: The sample consisted of 7 CNEs, who had more than one to 15 years of experience in their current position. Their experiences with e-learning varied: it ranged from incorporating a video-clip in their presentations, to providing input into the learning management system they tested. Semi-structured interviews were thematically analyzed. 

Results: Despite participants varied levels of knowledge towards e-learning, all were convinced that this method could be used complementarily alongside hands-on training. Though they recognized the importance of human contact in teaching, they also understood the limitations of the traditional pedagogy; lacking the addition of interactive features. Despite some criticism, CNEs were able to identify opportunities where e-learning could be useful: during nursing orientation, tracking, evaluation and accreditation purposes, content refreshment, and to standardize protocols.

Discussion and conclusions: More research is needed, and cooperative efforts are required from nurses and nurse-management to engage in the promotion of professional development.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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