Educational requirements of nurses providing care to children with complex needs in the community
evidence and practice    

Educational requirements of nurses providing care to children with complex needs in the community

Claire Lynott Coordinator for children with complex needs, Health Service Executive West, Primary Care, The Newman Institute, Ballina, Ireland
Yvonne Conway Nurse tutor, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland

Why you should read this article:
  • To be aware of the increasing number of children with complex needs cared for in the community

  • To acknowledge the value of community placements in children’s nursing education programmes

  • To recognise the need for specialist nurses to have access to training and continuing education

Background The number of children with complex care needs has increased in recent decades and many of them are cared for in the community. Nurses may require additional training and education to provide optimal care to these children.

Aim To establish whether nurses providing care to children with complex needs in the community feel prepared for their role and whether they require additional education and/or training, and to identify the essential skills and knowledge required to provide care to children with complex needs in the community.

Method A quantitative descriptive study was conducted with nurses employed by private providers to care for children with complex needs in the community across the Republic of Ireland. The study used an existing online survey validated through a literature review, an expert panel review and a pilot study.

Findings A total of 62 nurses responded, 53% of them (n=33) stating that their current education met their requirements when caring for children with complex needs in the community. There was a small positive correlation between the number of years of nursing experience and whether respondents thought their educational requirements were being met. More experienced respondents identified a need for continuing education and less experienced respondents identified a need for community placements during preregistration education. Assisted ventilation, non-invasive ventilation and tracheostomy care were the three top subject areas in terms of the usefulness of their inclusion in an educational programme designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of nurses providing care to children with complex needs in the community.

Conclusion The findings reinforce the need for specific training and continuing education for specialist nurses caring for children with complex needs and their families in the community.

Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2021.e1374

Peer review

This article has been subject to open peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

@Claire83957946

Correspondence

Claire.Lynott@hse.ie

Conflict of interest

None declared

Lynott C, Conway Y (2021) Educational requirements of nurses providing care to children with complex needs in the community. Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2021.e1374

Acknowledgements

The Victoria Thompson Scholarship provided funding for the researcher’s tuition fees. The study was conducted as part of a master’s degree, for which the researcher received funding from the Centre of Nurse and Midwifery Education Mayo

Published online: 23 August 2021

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