An evaluation of the role of the clinical education facilitator

Brendan McCormack, Paul F Slater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims and objectives. The objective of the study was to identify whether clinicaleducation facilitators made a difference to the learning experiences of nurses in alarge teaching hospital.Background. Strategies for enabling continuous professional development are wellestablished in healthcare organizations as key components of approaches to lifelonglearning. The benefits of continuous professional development include the maintenanceof high standards of care, the improvement and development of services,ensuring the competency of all nursing staff and guaranteeing the accountability ofnurses for their actions. The role of clinical education facilitator is relatively newand little evaluation of this role has been undertaken.Conclusions. This study highlights important issues to be considered in developinga ‘learning culture’ in a hospital organization, through the adoption of such rolesas clinical education facilitators. Whilst the roles have had an important functionin the active coordination of learning activities in the hospital, there is littleevidence of the role directly impacting on the learning culture of clinical settings.Learning mechanisms have been identified. The results of this evaluation can besubjected to further testing through ongoing evaluation of the outcomes arisingfrom the learning mechanisms in place. Given the emphasis on work-basedlearning and continuing professional development in health care, then thisongoing evaluation can yield important information about future directions fornurse education.Relevance to clinical practice. The study highlights the importance of supportedlearning in the workplace. However, more importantly, it identifies the need for aculture of professional practice to be developed in order to sustain learning inpractice. Classroom-based learning alone, cannot create a culture of developmentin nursing and there is thus a need for models of work-based learning to beintegrated into practice environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-144
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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