Evaluation of the Prostate Care Distance Learning Program

McGrail J, Metcalfe R, Livingston P, Wakefield M

CBRC Research Paper Series No. 3, October 2003

Aim: To document the perceived value of a distance learning continuing education program, for nurses, including reported changes in nurse practices, and to identify any significant limitations to the course.

Method: The evaluation occurred at three time points: pre-Program, immediately post-Program and at three months post-Program.

Results: All 46 students participated in one or more stages of the evaluation. The majority of respondents (80%) were women, 55% were aged less than 40 years and 96% were currently working with prostate cancer patients. The curriculum topics that were reported as most helpful to students were treatment options (55%), and understanding and managing side effects of treatment (23%). Thirty-six (78%) students reported planned changes to their nursing practices as a result of what they had learned through completing the Program. The major criticism of the Program and its content was that the volume of work was too great relative to the duration of the Program.

Conclusion: The Program was well received by students and influenced nurses’ reported practices. The nurses reported that they were keen to implement the skills and knowledge gained from the Program. The Program will continue to be offered and its duration has been extended by one week to allow students to better cope with the workload.