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Employer support a key factor in nurses’ pursuit of further study

Stress, work-life balance, cost and lack of employer support are some of the factors inhibiting nurses from undertaking postgraduate education, an Australian study has found.

The study, "Exploring factors affecting registered nurses' pursuit of postgraduate education in Australia", was published online ahead of its inclusion in an issue of Nursing & Health Sciences.

The research team said despite the increased requirement for postgraduate education for advanced practice, little has been reported on the factors involved in the decision to undertake further education.

While the team found registered nurses’ pursue further study due to the consequent influence on patient care, safety and outcomes, as well as possibilities of career advancement, financial constraints and issues around nursing work hindered their pursuit of postgraduate education.

The authors said participation could be improved if employers recompensed registered nurses who continue with further study.

Nursing Review sat down with lead author of the article, Linda Ng, associate lecturer in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work at the University of Queensland, to discuss the causes of stress nurses identified and what employers and education providers can do to better support nurses who undertake postgraduate education.

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