UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Continuing education in nursing : a lifelong learning perspective Reed, Diane E.


This study examined the utility of lifelong learning, a notable concept in adult and higher education, for continuing education in nursing. Identifiable deficiencies in CNE led to the search for a suitable framework on which to base action. The approach adopted to accomplish this task involved use of analytic philosophy. The literature related to lifelong learning was examined and a subset, lifelong education, was identified as the prime area of interest. It was concluded that lifelong education is an educational philosophy which answers questions about educational processes. Principles of the philosophy were distilled from the existing literature. Following this elucidation of the ideas, CNE in the context of lifelong education was described. Implications flowing from adopting this philosophy as a framework for CNE activities were discussed. Resultant changes to goals, means, content, administration, and treatment of learners in CNE were considered. It was concluded that the goals of CNE must include both individual nurse development as well as development of the profession, these interacting to contribute to improved quality of nursing service. The administrative organization would be bi-level, requiring specific roles for both central and local structures, while allowing flexibility in planning. Treatment of learners would be such that characteristics required for learning throughout life would be fostered. The development of generalizable skills related to acquiring knowledge would be emphasized. An emphasis on process and problem-solving rather than any specific content would be required. It was noted that the nursing profession would itself have to undergo changes if lifelong education is to be successfully implemented as a philosophy for CNE.

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