Exploring haematology nurses' perceptions of specialist education's contribution to care delivery and the development of expertise

Joanne Atkinson, Steve Tawse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The role that educational preparation may play in the delivery of care and the development of expertise is a point of some debate [Manley, K., Garbett, R., 2000. Paying Peter and Paul reconciling concepts of expertise with competency for a clinical career structure. Journal of Clinical Nursing 9 (3), 347; King, L., Macleod Clark, J., 2002. Intuition and the development of expertise in surgical ward and intensive care nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing 37(4), 322-329; Bonner, A., 2003. Recognition of expertise: an important concept in the acquisition of nephrology nursing expertise. Nursing & Health Sciences Journal 5, 123-131; Dunphy, B.C., Williamson, S.L., 2004. In pursuit of expertise. Advances in Health Sciences Education 9, 107-127]. Though education is a concept that may be universally valued, it may be more difficult to clearly discern the significance it has for practitioners who are developing their expertise. This research project employed an interpretive phenomenological design to explore the perceptions of specialist haematology nursing staff on the extent to which specialist education contributes to care delivery and the development of expert practice. A non-representative purposive sample of qualified nurses who had undertaken specialist education in haemopoiesis and work in specialist haematology participated in a focus group and semi-structured interviews. The report concludes that, for these specialist practitioners, specialist educational input had a beneficial impact on their levels of knowledge and confidence. Further to this, involvement in higher education had enabled them to become more active in the learning process. Perhaps the key finding of the study was the assertion by respondents that specialist educational input had enabled them to develop their specialist practice to a level that experience alone could not achieve.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-634
JournalNurse Education Today
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


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