Efficacy of a self-instruction package when compared with a traditional continuing education offering for nurses

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Abstract

Expanding knowledge relevant to health disciplines due to advances in medical science and practice intensifies the needs of health care professionals for continuing education (CE). Traditional methods, such as workshops, do not always result in rapid dissemination of information and/or achievement of low costs. This is especially true for those providers in isolated/rural areas. The key question for this study is: Does a multimedia, self-instruction educational package provide the same or similar learning results as received from a conventional CE conference? Also, which method is the most economically feasible? In both the traditional CE offering and the self-instruction learning package, statistical improvement in scores was observed. Costs for the self-directed approach, while more expensive up front, could prove, depending upon the situation, to be more economical in the long run. These results show that self-instruction learning packages can be viable alternatives to workshops and conferences, saving time and money for the health professional.

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