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History of Continuing Education in Nursing

Let us never consider ourselves as finished nurses.. We must be learning all our lives -Florence Nightingale The idea of continuing education in nursing is as old as organized nursing, but the concept of lifelong learning for the practitioner has developed slowly The history of continuing education in nursing has shown that educational institutions generally have been slow to accept responsibility for assisting the practitioner who wishes to add to her nursing knowledge


Rapid technological advances related to knowledge explosion have greatly altered the practice of nursing The gap between scientific knowledge and its application grows wider each year as a result of multiple influences Elimination of certain illnesses, particularly the communicable diseases New drugs to cure some illnesses and alter the course of many Surgeries are being performed successfully in areas that would not have been attempted 10-20 years ago Organ transplants are no more a novelty Complex and intricate machinery can extend lives All these advances require more highly skilled nursing care in a great variety of settings Continuing education is an accepted way of life

Nurses and Continuing Education

Are Nurses exception? In fact we lagged behind Certain exceptional nurses have always been self-directed learners

Once a Nurse, always a Nurse?

some continuation training in service for nurses would promote the well-being of the nation Major reason for continuing education in nursing: the improvement in professional practice Life-long learning in nursing relates not only to professional practice but also to the development of the person as an individual and as a responsible citizen Charles Judd AJN (1928)


Continuing education is any extension of opportunities for reading, study and training to young persons and adults following their completion of or withdrawal from full-time school and college programs Dictionary of Education

Adult Education

The terms Continuing Education and Adult Education are often used interchangeably

Continuing Nursing Education

Educational activities primarily designed to keep registered nurses abreast of their particular field of interest and do not lead to any formal advanced standing in the profession
Nursing Thesaurus of the International Nursing Index

In-service Education

Planned instructional or training program provided by an employing agency in the employment setting and is designed to increase competence in a specific area In-service Education is one aspect of continuing education, but the terms are not interchangeable

Continuing Professional Development


Orientation to introduce new recruits to the basic aspects of the job so that they can perform their job effectively Continuing education for the improvement of knowledge, skills and attitudes Management skills and leadership training Staff development program is directed toward expanding to the fullest all the potentials of an individual Individual Interest Promotion Programs Future Oriented Programs to prepare learners for the future activities

The Planning Formula



Analyze needs Goals Priorities Resources Constraints and Alternate delivery systems Determine scope and sequence of training program (by task and job analysis)

Emphasizes what will be taught Determine training approach Develop learning objectives Performance measures Training program specifications

Emphasizes on how the content will be taught Develop curriculum guide Lesson plan Supportive teaching aids Revise material


Implement training plan Conduct training Formative evaluation Document training results


Conduct summative evaluation Analyze collected information Initiate corrective action

Benefits of Continuing Nursing Education

Content Areas


Learning continues through out life and is called lifelong learning From womb to tomb Learning makes life easier, fuller longer and more enjoyable Learning has practical purpose

In-service Educator

Public Relations Educational Preparation with emphasis on Adult Education The Continuing Educator as a Continuing Learner Clinical Knowledge and Skill Working with Adults Broad Knowledge Base

Determination Self-confidence Zest for life Innate curiosity Love for adventure Desire to search the unknown Flexibility Creativity Resourcefulness