An evaluation study of the regulatory approach to general nurse education 2001-2004 in Ireland
Ryan, Anne-Marie (2006) An evaluation study of the regulatory approach to general nurse education 2001-2004 in Ireland. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.
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This study explored the regulatory approach to general nurse education programmes operationalised by the Irish regulatory body for nurses and midwives during a penod when all nurse education moved to the higher education sector. The underpinning theoretical framework of regulation (Department of An Taoiseach 2004) focused the exploration of educational Requirements and Standards (An Bord Altranais 2000) of all the general nurse education programmes. The literature associated with regulation, learning nursing and evaluation informed the conduct and findings of the study. The study method rooted in evaluation research approaches, was conducted in two phases to describe and illuminate the regulatory process of ensuring safe standards of preparation of general nurses. The methodology used in phase one of the study was designed to capture how existing programmes met regulatory requirements and was guided by Stakes5 (1985) five stages to generate data in evaluation. This first phase of the research reflects “descriptive evaluation” as described by Quinn Patton (1987) which utilised a large quantity of documentary evidence supporting the thirteen general nurse registration/degree programmes between 2001 and 2004 A grounded theory approach (Miles and Huberman 2004 and Dey 2004) was used to analyse data with further analysis achieved through the assistance of an expert group. The purpose of the first-phase was to acquire insights, not by establishing causality, but to develop an understanding of how current systems of general nurse education operate and whether they meet regulatory expectations (ABA 2000) and criteria Judgements of compliance with current regulatory standards are posed. The methodology utilised in
the second phase of the study was underpinned by the principles of concept development and used key stakeholder focus group discussion to suggest a process for effective regulatory function. Principles for regulatory governance of education programmes are also described. The proposed regulatory framework is based on the emergent core categones of governance, quality in education and knowledge for practice to capture the essence of issues in professional general nurse education to ensure the protection of the public.
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