Continuing Professional Development: Needs, Facilitators and Barriers of Registered Nurses in India in Rural and Remote Settings: Findings from a Cross Sectional Survey

Authors : Macaden L, Washington M, Smith A, Thooya V, Selvam SP, George N, Mony P

Publication Year : 2017

Abstract :

Nurses constitute a major portion of the health care workforce in India. A priority to develop pre and post registration nurse education in India has increasingly been highlighted in nursing and health policy imperatives in recent years. Nurses are often the only health care professionals in primary and secondary care within rural and remote healthcare settings in India. They are confronted with the dual challenge of resource constraints and rapidly changing disease profile with little or no access to continuing professional development.

1) To identify key continuing professional development priorities of registered nurses working in remote and rural health care settings in India. 2) To identify barriers and facilitators to continuing professional development as perceived by registered nurses working in these settings. 3) To identify preferred modes of continuing professional development by registered nurses working in remote and rural health care settings in India.

Quantitative Design.

Two large health care facilities in remote and rural parts of India.

Registered Nurses working in two large not for profit health care organisations participated in the study. Nursing assistants and student nurses were excluded from the study. 368 participants consented to participate in the survey and 271 (73.6%) participants completed the survey.

A questionnaire based cross sectional survey was undertaken as part of the Continuing Professional Development needs assessment among registered nurses working in rural and remote settings.

Continuing Professional Development priorities included training on clinical competencies focussed on managing emergency situations related to non-communicable diseases [50%], managerial competencies related to ethical dilemmas [60%] such as support for families with financial difficulties accessing health care [17.8%], women undergoing abortions [14.6%], or those with HIV infection [12.9%]. Preferred modes for Continuing Professional Development included conference attendance [54%], skills training [48%] and in-house training [32%]. Key facilitators for Continuing Professional Development included, professional development [77%], personal interest [42%], opportunities for professional engagement with colleagues [39%], the need to reduce knowledge and skill gap [36%] and career progression [28%]. Geographic distance [59%], low staffing levels [51%], cost [43%], domestic responsibilities [40%], and work commitments [39%] were reported as key barriers to Continuing Professional Development.

The findings from this survey, the first of its kind in India, provides evidence on priorities, barriers and facilitators for continuing professional development of registered nurses working in rural and remote settings in India.