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The Acceptability and Feasibility of Implementing an Online Educational Intervention With Nurses in a Provincial Prison Context

Almost, Joan RN, PhD1; Gifford, Wendy A. RN, PhD2; Doran, Diane RN, PhD3; Ogilvie, Linda RN, MSN4; Miller, Crystal RN, MN4; Rose, Donald N. RN, PhD5; Squires, Mae RN, PhD6; Carryer, Jennifer RN, MN3; McShane, Julie RN, MN7; Miller, Kim RN, MScN8

doi: 10.1097/JFN.0000000000000242
Original Articles

Background Correctional nursing requires a strong knowledge base with access to continuing education (CE) to maintain and enhance competencies. Nurses working in provincial prisons have reported many challenges in accessing CE, with online learning being identified as a potential solution. Limited research was found, however, which examined the correctional context in the development and delivery of online learning for nurses. The purpose of this study was to develop an online educational intervention tailored to correctional nurses and determine the feasibility and acceptability of implementing the intervention in a provincial prison context.

Methods A sequential mixed methods study was conducted. Participants included nurses from three correctional settings in the province of Ontario, Canada. Semistructured interviews examined contextual factors and educational needs. Delphi surveys determined the educational topic. Preintervention and postintervention questionnaires examined the context, educational content, and intervention's acceptability and feasibility.

Results The online intervention focused on mental health and addictions with two 30-minute webinars delivered back-to-back over 15 weeks. Respondents expressed satisfaction with the convenience of online learning at work using short webinars, as well as the topics, relevance of information, and teaching materials, but dissatisfaction with presentation style. The feasibility of the intervention was limited by access to technology, time to attend, education space, and comfort with technology.

Discussion The findings from this study provide insight to guide the future development of online CE for correctional nurses. If changes are made within correctional facilities in collaboration with nurses and managers, online learning holds the potential to facilitate access to ongoing professional development.

Author Affiliations:1School of Nursing, Queen's University

2Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Nursing, University of Ottawa

3Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto

4Corporate Health Care, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Government of Ontario

5Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Ryerson University

6School of Baccalaureate Nursing, St. Lawrence College

7Collaborative Academic Practice, University Health Network

8Education Services, Saint Elizabeth Health Care.

This research was funded by the Nursing Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Grant. The article was presented and supported in part by the 2012 Michigan Symposium on Effectiveness and Implementation Science, sponsored by the University of Michigan School of Nursing on September 26, 2012.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Joan Almost, RN, PhD, School of Nursing, Queen's University, 92 Barrie Street, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6. E-mail:

Received January 3, 2018; Accepted January 30, 2019

Online date: April 12, 2019

© 2019 by the International Association of Forensic Nurses. All rights reserved.
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