Community and learning: A virtual community of practice for nurse practitioners
Erich Widemark, Capella University, United States
Capella University . Awarded
Nurse Practitioners have developed educational curriculum to define their role since the 1960s. While medicine continues to advance, the development of new medications and treatments creates a divide between what was learned in school, and what is accepted in current practice. Unique characteristics of the local environment can change practice in different geographic areas. Real-world experience can change practice style as well. Many Nurse Practitioners do not have time to attend continuing education seminars and adequately read vast amounts of material. They must look at regular interaction with community peers to make improvements to their practice. With the availability of access to the Internet for most of the population of Nurse Practitioners, a new medium is available in the use of listserv technology to discuss and disseminate information. This study evaluated the effectiveness of learning in a situated learning environment using listserv technology for a virtual community of practice for Nurse Practitioners in the state of Arizona. It also evaluated the sense of community of Nurse Practitioners in an online Community of Practice (CoP), and explored the relationship between a member's sense of community, and their perceived learning experience. An investigation of the impact of length of membership, length of experience, and gender on perceived learning experience and sense of community was also investigated.
Widemark, E. Community and learning: A virtual community of practice for nurse practitioners. Ph.D. thesis, Capella University.
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