Unpacking the black box

This post courtesy of Anne Taylor-Vaisey:

Here is an article of possible interest, from the latest issue of the International Journal of Nursing Studies.

Ellis L, Nolan M. Illuminating continuing professional education: unpacking the black box. Int J Nurs Stud 2005; 42(1):97-106.

Abstract: This paper reports on a longitudinal study of continuing professional education (CPE) in nursing using a case study approach operationalised within an illuminative evaluation model. Using a short focussed programme as an instrumental case study, the project gathered data from three major groups of stakeholders over an 18 month period in order to explore the context within which CPE operates, and to highlight those factors which appear to influence the outcomes of CPE over time. Data were collected using documentary analysis and in-depth semi-structured interviews with educators, students on the programme (the ENB 941), and ! their managers. The latter two groups were interviewed at four points in time (prior to the course, immediately post course, 6 and 12 months post course).

Data analysis revealed that a complex set of factors interact to influence the outcomes of CPE, including the nature of the selection process, students' expectations of the programme, the nature of the educational experience, and the receptivity of the practice environment to change. This paper identifies those factors that shape the outcomes of CPE and considers their implications for policy and practice.

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