Learning Needs Assessment: Comparing Direct Care Registered Nurses' Learning Needs Over Time

Student Author(s)

Daniel Vachon

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Vicki Voskuil, Nursing

Document Type


Event Date



The Magnet Recognition program criteria includes an assessment of the continuing education (CE) needs of nurses at all levels and settings as a component of recognition for nursing excellence. In 2012 and 2015, a survey was sent out to all nursing staff at a large tertiary care hospital in West Michigan to assess the top learning needs of direct-care registered nurses (RNs). The purpose of this study was to identify how the top learning needs of direct-care RNs have changed from 2012 to 2015 in the areas of interdisciplinary teamwork, interprofessional issues, and client care. Benner’s Novice to Expert framework, which explains how nurses’ skills and knowledge levels increase over time with clinical experience, was used to guide this study. The survey was sent out via email at both time points and responses were electronically recorded. A total of 767 direct-care RNs responded to the 2012 survey, while 654 responded in 2015. Learning needs were scored on a Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly agree) to 5 (strongly disagree). Data analysis was performed using SPSS. T-tests showed no significant changes in scores for interdisciplinary teamwork (t=0.88; p=0.38), interprofessional issues (t=0.90; p=0.37), or client care (t=1.08; p=0.28). There was a trend in increased learning needs for interdisciplinary teamwork and interprofessional issues, while client care was stable over time. Limitations include lack of generalizability outside of West Michigan. Implications include implementing CE programs to address nurses’ skills and knowledge in client care, as this had the highest need for additional learning.

This document is currently not available here.