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The meaning of effective education for critical care nursing practice: a thematic analysis.

Australian Critical Care, 2004

The meaning of effective education for critical care nursing practice: a thematic analysis.
Continuing education and practice development are integral components of specialist nursing practice in environments such as intensive and critical care.
Previous studies have examined the 'effectiveness' of various approaches to teaching and learning in critical care, yet few have considered how effective education affects the relationship between education and practice development.
Using thematic analysis, this study explored the phenomenon of effective education (for critical care nursing practice) by asking: What does effective education for critical care nursing practice mean to nurses currently practising in the specialty? Eighty eight critical care nurses from the South Island of New Zealand provided written descriptions of what effective education for critical care nursing practice meant to them.
Four core themes of personal quality, practice quality, the learning process and learning needs emerged.
Appropriateness or relevance for individual learning needs is further identified as an essential theme within the meaning of effective education for critical care nursing practice.
Shared experiences of the phenomenon are made explicit and discussed with reference to education and practice development in the specialty.
The study results lend support to education that focuses on individual learning needs, and identifies work based learning as a potential strategy for learning and practice development in critical care nursing.