Preferences for continuing education through existing electronic access for Australian Nurse Practitioners and its implication in prescribing potential

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Journal Article
Collegian, 2009, 16 (2), pp. 79 - 83
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Background: Little is known about Australian Nurse Practitioners (NPs) perceptions of the importance of continuing education (CE), their preferred methods to undertake CE in relation to prescribing practices or their access to electronic resources at work. Nurse Practitioner access to computerised technology may increase their provision of resources, provide point of care technology, and increase opportunities to participate in CE. Purpose: This paper aims to explore Australian NP preferences for continuing education and NP access to electronic mediums that may increase CE opportunities. Methods: A self-administered online survey was completed by 68 NPs from across Australia. Results: The majority of respondents (93%) viewed CE to be very important and preferred methods of continuing education included receipt of information by email, and interactive online case studies. Respondents working in metropolitan areas had increased access to high speed Internet in comparison to NPs working in rural or remote areas, although this did not reach statistical significance (88% vs. 69%, p = 0.07). Significantly more NPs working in metropolitan areas had access to a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) than NPs working in rural or remote areas (44% vs. 6%, p = 0.003). Conclusion: This is the first national survey to report preference for CE and access to technology of NPs in Australia. Electronic technology can provide programmed support such as online learning and resources through computers and PDAs to maximise NP prescribing potential. Crown Copyright © 2008.
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