- The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing
- September 2012 - Volume 43 · Issue 9: 420-427
Background: Difficulty recruiting and retaining well-qualified nursing staff can frustrate rural hospitals. Collaborative relationships between university nursing programs and rural hospitals may lead to the development of continuing education (CE) programs to enhance clinical competence, patient safety, job satisfaction, and nursing work force retention.
Methods: As part of an effort to develop a collaborative relationship between a university nursing program and two rural hospitals, a pilot study was conducted with 27 nurses working at two hospitals to determine needs and preferences for CE topics and delivery.
Results: The pilot study provided important information, furthering the development of a collaborative relationship between the university and rural hospitals and offering insight into barriers preventing rural nurses’ participation in CE activities. Using results from the survey, the university and hospital are working together to plan online CE offerings about topics of interest to these rural nurses.Conclusion: Discussion of this process and the results of the pilot study will be useful for those who are contemplating offering CE programs to nurses in rural regions or are interested in exploring opportunities for the development of collaborative relationships that could result in improved job satisfaction, patient safety, and work force retention.
Click here to read Letter to the Editor about this article.
Dr. Fitzgerald is Assistant Professor and Mr. Townsend is Director of Professional Development, Washington State University College of Nursing, Spokane, Washington.
This project was funded by a special Congressional initiative that supported exploration of regional nursing work force issues and allowed dedication of resources (including faculty time) to this project.
Address correspondence to Ryan P. Townsend, MN, APRN-BC, Director of Professional Development, Washington State University College of Nursing, 103 E. Spokane Falls Boulevard, Spokane, WA 99210. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Received: September 30, 2011
Accepted: May 11, 2012
Posted Online: June 22, 2012