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The need for nurses to be knowledgeable, highly trained and well-educated is becoming essential. Today, nurses are required to make complex clinical decisions, that 25 years ago would almost undoubtedly have been made by doctors.
The nursing scope is governed by the need driven by the contemporary population. This has increased the need for change in nursing education and continuing professional development to ensure that nurses and midwives are well equipped with knowledge and skills to make more complex decisions.
The nursing profession is the largest single health profession in Fiji. Re-evaluating skill gap is critical to ensure continuing education addresses the demand required by the scope of practice, to create a sustainable nursing workforce for Fiji.
Pacific Open Learning Health Net (POLHN) intern Ms Joy Juillard, Master of Science graduate from the University of Strathclyde in the United Kingdom, is currently conducting a study at Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH) to better understand the needs of contemporary nursing.
Joy said, “this study aims to show nurses’ perceptions of online continuing education (CE) and to find perceived factors which facilitate, enhance or hinder the adoption and educational impact of eLearning”. Around 740 nurses are expected to participate in a week-long survey where CWMH Unit Deputy Director of Nursing Matron Luisa, Matron Mere, Matron Randi, and Matron Mekita are playing vital roles in distributing and collecting data from registered nurses.
The survey is expected to gather data related to the revised CE needs and will look at the best approaches to deliver a continuous supply of CE. “The idea behind the survey is to understand the needs of CWM hospital nurses in order to deliver enhanced learning experience they can use to advance nursing care and patient satisfaction”, said Technical Officer of POLHN, Mohammed Yasin.
Due to the increasing responsibility and the shifting needs, it will be challenging for the shift working nurses to attend face-to-face CE. Hence, POLHN is planning to bridge the demand and supply gap by increasing the number of topics provided through its online platform. POLHN offers free online health courses with certificates.
Fiji Nursing Decree 2011 (No. 41 of 2011) requires nurses and midwives to complete a minimum of 20 continuing professional development (CPD) hours directly relevant to a nurse or midwife’s context of practice. POLHN strives to provide an undisrupted supply of free self-directed learning to health workers all around Pacific Island Countries.
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