Educational Collaboration Between Oman and Wales: The Effects of a Cardiff BSC on Omani Nurses' Professional Development and Clinical Practice

Monday, 22 July 2013: 11:25 AM

Dianne S. Watkins, Ed.D, MSc, RN, HV, RM
School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies, Cardiff University, Cardiff, CF14 4XN, United Kingdom

Learning Objective 1: Understand the challenges and benefits of collaborating across countries in the delivery of education and gain insight into how such initiatives can be evaluated.

Learning Objective 2: Understand longitudinal qualitative research, challenges of data collection in a foreign country and effects of a degree on Omani Nurses' professional development and clinical practice.

Purpose: Cardiff School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies collaborated with the Ministry of Health Oman in development of a BSc in Nursing Studies for qualified nurses delivered in Oman by Cardiff staff. A longitudinal qualitative research study was undertaken from April 2010 – April 2012 following students in cohort 1(N=27) and cohort 2 (N=30) and a random selection of nurse managers (N=20). The purpose of the research was to explore why Omani nurses chose to undertake a BSc in Nursing Studies; and to investigate nurses’ and nurse managers’ perceptions of the impact of the programme on professional development and clinical practice.

Methods: Data collection methods included focus groups and semi structured interviews conducted in Oman. Focus groups were undertaken with all students who had embarked on the programme. 10 students and their managers were randomly selected from each cohort making a total of 20 students and 20 nurse managers who took part in semi structured 6 months after the course had completed. Thematic analysis took place with the use of a template developed from the data. 

Results: Nurses’ reasons for application included easy access to a degree in Oman; enhance career progression; knowledge and skill acquisition; self growth; attain a qualification and prepare for study at postgraduate level. Influence on professional development and clinical practice were increased personal confidence and self esteem; systematic critical thinking and improved communication; development of the evidence based practitioner able to appraise evidence and apply this to practice; a practitioner able to manage and lead others; career development and implementation of changes to improve patient care. Findings were supported by evidence from managers and nurses.

Conclusion: BSc education delivered by a UK University has developed evidence based practitioners able to implement changes in practice to improve care and has enhanced career prospects for nurses.