The literature recommends that in the light of the constant changes in the contexts in which nurses perform [Buerhaus, P., 1997. The future of the nurse tabour market. Image 29(4), 313-318], nurse education systems should incorporate specialised and continuing education [Lenera, V., 1987. The Nurse and the Future: Role and Function. In: Health Care and Nurse Education in the 21 st Century. Commission of the European Communities, Brussels; Castledine, G., McGee, P., 1998. Advanced and Specialist Nursing Practice, Blackwell Science Ltd., Oxford; Chiarella, M., 1998. Developing the credibility of continuing education. Nurse Education Today 10, 70-73]. Using a qualitative approach, the research study reported in this article explored views of student and qualified nurses in Matta about such educational opportunities. Data were collected using questionnaires administered by post to student and qualified nurses in Matta (n = 172) [Fenech Adami, M., 2002. An exploratory study of the adequacy of the nurse education system in Matta. PhD Thesis. University of Aberdeen.]. In congruence with the literature, the findings revealed widespread support for and interest in specialised and continuing education in general, [Nolan, M., 1994. Continuing professional education: identifying the characteristics an effective system. Journal of Advanced Nursing 22, 551-560; Witson-Barnett, J., 1994. Evaluating the clinical nurse specialist - a review. International Journal of Nursing Studies 31(6), 561-571]. However, some of the findings challenge that which is recommended in the literature. The findings should contribute to the effective development of specialised and continuing education opportunities in Matta. Moreover, by their divergence from the literature, these findings illustrate that nurse education should always be planned against a backdrop of the context in which it is to be delivered. In turn, the findings point out the importance of researching education within specific contexts rather than simply extrapolating research evidence and subsequent recommendations on nurse education from one national context to another. (C)2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- continuing education
- specialized education