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Stakeholder perceptions of curriculum design, development and delivery for continuing e-learning for nurses

24 September 2020
Volume 29 · Issue 17



This paper reports the qualitative findings from stage 5 of an action research project which involved the redesign of continuing professional education (CPE) courses in one organisation.


The aim of this study was to explore key stakeholders perceptions of the teaching, learning and outcomes of a new curriculum design for CPE involving e-learning.


This project used participatory action research, involving stakeholders as participants in a process of inquiry about the change. The study took place in an academic teaching hospital and consisted of three focus group interviews with a total of 20 nurses. Participants included stakeholders who had developed curricula and managers from clinical areas where CPE courses had been undertaken.


Four main themes emerged, revealing staff perceptions on the process of change and their own ‘lightbulb moments’ experienced during this process. Results also indicate that the change has resulted in learner-focused CPE, with a range of opportunities for continued educational development in future.


Key stakeholders' experience is seldom reported in studies related to CPE. This study provides an insight into the experiences of key stakeholders in relation to the development and delivery of CPE courses. Stakeholders indicated that they were able to see the benefits of implementing new CPE curricula they had contributed to. They also commented that clinical-pertinent and competence-based courses were more learner focused as a result of combining online content with supported workshops.

Healthcare organisations currently face multiple challenges in delivering safe, effective nursing care in environments that are becoming increasing complex (Draper et al, 2014). Acute tertiary hospitals require knowledgeable, skilled registered nurses to care for patients in specialist areas (Ryder et al, 2018); thus, continuing professional education (CPE) is fundamental in ensuring that frontline nurses are able to practise safely and effectively (Manley et al, 2018). Although much of the literature calls for empirical evidence in relation to the impact and outcomes of CPE (Hegney et al, 2015; Lee, 2011; Clark et al, 2015), it is also essential that an understanding of the process for the development and delivery of effective CPE is established. There is little empirical evidence in relation to the outcomes of CPE, so further evidence is required into the key roles of stakeholders in the process of development and delivery of effective CPE (Draper et al, 2014).

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