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  1. Macklin, Denise BSN, RN,C, CRNI


The findings acquired from two focus groups (13 generalist RNs and 13 specialist RNs) which were held to evaluate compact disc interactive (CD-i) as a self-learning option for staff development were reviewed. The findings from these groups were that the CD-i platform offers educators the opportunity to design programs that meet nurses learning needs without the need for multi-media, computers, and the associated platform training and education. This study reinforced the previously identified problem that nurses have difficulty balancing the responsibilities of providing direct patient care and the need for additional education and training and that self-study is an acceptable alternative to the traditional lecture format.


Continuing education is an important aspect of any nurse's employment in today's healthcare environment. The practice of nursing has become highly specialized and technologically complex. With the ongoing pressure to demonstrate proficiency in a wide variety of skills, on-the-job education has become an integral part of a nurse's employment. A majority of nurses are exposed regularly to or mandated to participate in staff development opportunities. Through a nurse's career, possible education/training scenarios include:


1. Clinical observation,


2. Peer/vendor demonstration,


3. Group workshops/Seminars,


4. Professional journals/reference and procedure manuals,


5. Video,


6. Audio,


7. Workbooks,


8. Skill competency labs, and


9. Workshops and conferences


These scenarios may take place on-site, off-site, in a group setting, or as self-study programs with or without evaluation. Participation may be mandatory, voluntary, or self-initiated. Nurses' workloads have been increasing over the past few years. Patient acuity, increasing patient-to-nurse ratio, and increased complex technology coupled with diminishing employer education resources impede the learning process. Some factors that hinder learning are:


1. Length of education/training sessions,


2. Distraction by work left behind,


3. Poor environment and teaching equipment,


4. No input or choice in what is being learned,


5. Fear of being evaluated, and


6. Personal pressures (White et al., 1998).


It has been shown that ongoing education for nurses seems to be compromised by continual conflict between the increasing expectations of employers and consumers for high-quality patient care and the more obvious needs for physical care (White et al., 1998). Therefore, developing an educational offering that fits into nurses' schedules and workloads and increases their control over the learning experience is required if successful outcomes are to be achieved. Self-study is one solution. Television-based, interactive multimedia platforms offer a unique self-study solution for nurses. The purpose of this article is to review the findings acquired from two focus groups that were held to evaluate compact disc interactive (CD-i) as a self-learning option for staff development.