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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An institute as an educational experience in the continuing education of a selected population of nurses Buckland, Jean Kirstine


This study was an effort to evaluate the effectiveness of a two day institute on "Evaluation of Personnel" as an educational experience in the continuing education of nurses, to submit to critical analysis a method of evaluation, and to examine the relationship of educational and experiential backgrounds of the participants to the learning which took place subsequent to an observational analysis of the institute. An unstructured interview technique was used three months after its completion to elicit subjectively what respondents thought they had learned at the institute. The information was later arranged in a structured format for compilation, tabulation and analysis, both by punch card and computer. The socioeconomic background data was gathered through the use of a structured questionnaire at the time of the interview. A behavioral concept of learning was used throughout. The results revealed that 91% of the sample indicated that learning had occurred, as they perceived a change in their behavior because they had attended the institute. Further, 76% perceived a change in knowledge, 62% in attitude, and 76% in practice, while over half perceived a change in all three areas. The greatest change was perceived by those who were younger, married, had less education (academic and post basic nursing), less experience in nursing, and who were employed in the larger agencies. The perception of little or no change was indicated by those with more education (academic and post basic nursing), more experience in nursing, and who were employed in the smaller agencies. The comparisons of change to background factors revealed that, although none of the comparisons were consistently significant, there was a positive relationship of learning with age, basic academic education, post basic nursing education, years of nursing experience, and size of employing agency. Marital status, husband's occupation, parental status, income, social participation, years of head nurse experience, size and type of nursing unit and size of staff showed some interesting comparisons by observation, but the sample proved too small for accurate inferences to be drawn. The conclusions of the study were that the institute was effective as an educational experience for continuing education in the three aspects of behavioral learning examined, provided the credibility of the respondents was acceptable. The instrument used was adequate for the purpose of indicating change of behavior with the above proviso, but not adequate for revealing whether change was relevant to certain socioeconomic data. No claim can therefore be made concerning the relationship between this data and learning in a situation such as this institute.

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