The role of postgraduate education for registered nurses working in the aged care sector
This New Zealand based study explored the perspectives of registered nurses working in aged residential care and their views and experiences on postgraduate education. There is very little research in the area of aged care in New Zealand and none involving postgraduate education. This was a qualitative study using mixed method data triangulation which included a document review, focus groups and interviews. The study was conducted at four aged care facilities in the lower North Island. Focus groups and face to face interviews were carried out with Nurse Managers (n = 5) and Registered Nurses (n =15) who had (n = 7) and had not (n = 13) engaged in postgraduate education. The study found development of nursing knowledge was important for improving quality of older person’s care, and career prospects and progression were the main reason nurses engage in postgraduate education. External agencies such as the local District Health Board and tertiary education providers play a role in postgraduate opportunities and how these agencies communicate with nurses plays a significant role in the uptake of postgraduate education. In addition work place support and personal factors such as choices and timing affect the uptake of postgraduate education. A multipronged approach is therefore needed to address postgraduate education in aged care.