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Authors

  1. Pavloff, Michelle PhD(c), RN
  2. Labrecque, Mary Ellen PhD, NP

Abstract

With the wide range of clinical skills and responsibilities that home care nurses (HCNs) are expected to perform, it is important they are supported with access to relevant continuing nursing education (CNE) to perform their job safely and effectively. An integrative literature review was conducted to explore the current evidence on CNE for HCNs. Medline and CINAHL were searched and 13 articles that met the criteria were reviewed. The analysis identified three themes: (1) learning strategies (simulation, virtual gaming, elearning, traditional learning); (2) challenges (staffing, time, access, skill) and opportunities (incentive to stay employed, decreased burnout); and (3) learning needs (palliative, patient and family needs, older adults and dementia, acute nursing skills). Nurses who provide care to patients in their homes have very complex roles and responsibilities. In order to keep patients and nurses safe, standards of education for HCNs, beyond their basic education program, must be developed. These educational standards must be designed to address the complex medical needs of patients while making the educational opportunities accessible and value-added. Improving the CNE experience for HCNs has the potential to increase patient safety, improve care outcomes, increase nurse competence, improve retention, and decrease nurse burnout.