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Can J Nurs Res. 2005 Mar;37(1):146-62.

Innovations and issues in the delivery of continuing education to nurse practitioners in rural and northern communities.

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Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.


This paper addresses the need to provide rural nurse practitioners (NPs) with the distance education that is considered vital to the upgrading of their professional skills. The method of delivering the courses is a critical aspect of their success. The authors trace and describe the innovative delivery of the Rural Ontario Nurse Practitioner Continuing Education Initiative, from the initial needs assessment study through to the implementation and evaluation study. In each study, a multi-method action research model was used. The respondents showed a preference for face-to-face modalities that were perceived to be constrained by barriers. These barriers were subsequently addressed by the pilot project. Those living in rural areas recognized the benefits of information technologies. Implementation was effectively weighted on multiple modes of online course delivery and the use of constructivist pedagogy. The findings suggest that the delivery of continuing education to rural and remote NPs is still wrought with challenges.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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