Factors That Influence Nurses Utilisation of Knowledge Gained from In-Service Education at Lilongwe Central Hospital

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In-service education for nurses often results in improved quality of patient care as well as personal and professional growth pf the participants. These outcomes are not achieved if nurses encounter barriers in attempt to implement the knowledge gained from in-service education into practice. This quantitative study aimed at determining factors that inhibit or encourage the use of knowledge gained from ISE. The study was conducted at Lilongwe Central Hospital in December in 1999. A sample of 35 participants; 15 Registered nurses, 7 senior enrolled nurses and 13 enrolled nurses completed an anonymous semi-structured questionnaire developed by the researcher. The force field theory provided framework of the study. Data was analysed using the computer through the Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS) windows release 8.0. The findings indicated that participants had attended in-service education as important. However, 40% of the participants had attended in-service education only once despite having been practicing in the nursing profession form one year to 14 years. Data suggests that 74% of the nurses lack adequate resources and supplies to enable them to put into practice what they had learnt from in-service education. Support from fellow staff members was singled out by 60% of the participants as a major encouraging factor. Other determining factors to use knowledge were follow-up by facilitators, reduced workload and proper ward allocation. However, almost all the nurses indicated that they were able to implement whatever knowledge they get from in-service education. The study has implications to nursing practices, education, research and management. The findings suggest the need for participant involvement from the planning phase of in-service education to implementation since nurses cannot make use of knowledge if they encounter any barriers in the process of implementing the knowledge.