In 2013 the New Zealand Nurses Organisation found that in-service accounted for a large portion of continuing education activities for many nurses. Previous research has identified that in-service education is valued by nurses and that it leads to practice change. How do these changes occur? Is it as simple as providing nurses with information and hoping their clinical knowledge will be transformed and they will magically implement it into their clinical practice? We suspected not.
During November 2015 – January 2016, in-depth semi-structured interviews were undertaken in Auckland with 11 nurses who had experienced in-service education. An interpretive phenomenological analysis method was used to explore how this magic happens.
Here we present research concerning the experiences and factors that nurses perceive to influence their knowledge transfer from in-service education into clinical practice.
Findings indicate that knowledge transfer from in-service is a complex process. Attendance at in-service, meaningful participation and knowledge transfer were key themes identified and these were found to be interconnected with the beliefs, values, and preferences of individual nurses, impacting their decision-making. Knowledge transfer required the alignment of a number of other core factors such as timing, resources and supports to be successful.
Based on these findings, we suggest that meaningful participation and knowledge transfer must be considered in the context of nurse personhood for successful planning and implementation of in-service education.
Key words: Phenomenological analysis; inservice education; knowledge transfer.