UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The continuing education needs of nurses working in hospital environments in rural Punjab, India Watson, Brittany Elyse


Statistics suggest that 72% of India’s population resides in rural areas, while 75% of physicians practice in urban centers. As a result, nurses are depended upon for knowledge and skills beyond their initial training and education. Currently, in India’s rural health care settings, formalized processes to ensure nurses receive continuing education do not exist. Physicians and nurse colleagues often bridge the education-practice gap, allowing nurses to fill the void in their practice responsibilities. However, the Indian Nursing Council is requiring a five-year renewal process with mandatory requirements for continuing education. Developing appropriate and relevant continuing education programs will require an understanding of nurses’ role in the clinical setting and their learning needs. This qualitative research study is a secondary analysis of data investigating the continuing education needs of nurses working in rural hospital environments in Punjab, India. Data were obtained from an original study that investigated the roles and responsibilities of nurses working at Guru Gobind Singh Hospital in Punjab, India. Twelve staff nurses and five physicians who expressed familiarity with the role of a nurse participated in focus group interviews. Interpretive description methodology was used to identify themes and subthemes within the data. Key themes from the analysis revealed nurses’ emphasis on task completion; the knowledge and skills required for clinical practice exceed nurses’ basic education preparation; and recognition of nurses’ capacity for advanced practice roles within the health care system. Physicians also expressed their dependence upon nurses to fulfill their respective responsibilities. Furthermore, mutual respect and honour within the nurse-physician relationship was embedded throughout the focus group interviews. The study findings highlight the need to enhance nursing capacity through continued education and advanced practice roles to meet the health care needs in rural India.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada