Umbrella review: Impact of registered nurses' continuing professional education informed by contemporary reviews of literature.

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Journal Article
Nurse Education in Practice, 2021, 50
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This paper aims to explore and classify studies of the impact and effectiveness of continuing professional education for registered nurses, using existing reviews of literature. Four healthcare databases were searched for publications from 2010 to July 2019 and electronic keywords searches were conducted. Umbrella review methodology was applied and Kirkpatrick's Four-Level Model of training evaluation was used to synthesise results and explicate the levels of educational impact. Of 16 included reviews, 13 were of simulation-based education activities. Three reviews of experimental studies demonstrated strong positive evidence of education impact on nurses' learning. Objective evidence of transfer of knowledge and skills into practice included improved interprofessional team performance and less time taken to complete clinical tasks. Reports of practice improvements and intention to change practice provided further evidence of impact. A small number of individual studies measured impact on service delivery, reporting positive and neutral results. We conclude that nurses learn and newly acquired knowledge and skills are often transferred into practice. Collection of robust evaluative data after completion of education is limited by practical considerations such as access to learners, resources and time constraints. Further studies of translational impact are needed, specifically, of the impact on patient care.
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