Knowledge and learning in speciality practice

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Neonatal Nursing, 2016, 22 (6), pp. 263 - 276
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© 2016 Purpose To describe the working knowledge (knowledge-in-action) of nurses in the speciality of neonatal nursing and understand how they acquire this knowledge to inform strategies for orientation, mentorship, in-service programs and curricula of speciality neonatal programs. A questionnaire consisting of three parts; demographics, questions about outcomes of care and the NICU-BKAT4 knowledge questionnaire. Was distributed to all neonatal nurses in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) and Newborn Emergency Transport Service (NETS) in New South Wales Australia. Results Nurses with less than one year speciality experience typically had the lowest NICU-BKAT4 scores and ‘critical’ knowledge essential for safe practice (p's < .001). Patterns of learning emerged, with the majority (97%) of novice nurses showing a preference for experiential ‘on-the-job’ learning. Conclusion This research adds to the understanding of nurses' learning preferences, has implications for speciality nursing education and practice and suggests a review of current educational strategies.
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