Samantha Heath

Doctor of Education, (Education)
Study Completed: 2019
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Explaining nurses’ decisions to participate in a Professional Development and Recognition Programme: A mixed methods study

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Continuing Professional Development (CPD) makes a significant contribution to the development of expertise among nurses and is essential in modern healthcare. CPD is considered so important that it constitutes part of nurses' professional regulatory requirements. New Zealand nurses have access to Professional Development and Recognition Programmes (PDRPs) which promote ongoing learning and assist completion of regulatory requirements. Despite large amounts of resource being available to support such programmes, nurses do not appear to choose them when participation is voluntary. Mrs Heath investigated nurses' decisions to participate in PDRPs. She found that vicarious experience was powerful in influencing a decision to engage and, the disposition of others towards PDRPs, like their managers and senior colleagues, contributed to a culture of completion. Nurses did not always connect PDRPs with the development of expert practice or appreciate its links to regulation. Individual learning needs assessment was a key recommendation.

Professor Roberta Hunter
Dr Mark Jones
Associate Professor Sally Clendon