Developing competence in cardiac care through the use of blended learning: course members' and mentors' accounts

Nurse Educ Today. 2011 May;31(4):323-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2010.06.009. Epub 2010 Jul 23.


The use of blended learning to develop the clinical knowledge and skills of healthcare professionals is increasing. This paper reports the qualitative findings from an evaluation of a blended learning course designed to equip registered nurses with the knowledge and skills required to practice competently in cardiac nursing. The aims of the study were to explore whether a cardiac care course could be successfully delivered mainly online and it had any impact on the students' clinical practice. The sample consisted of course members and their mentors. Data were obtained through focus groups and interviews and analysed using thematic analysis. All students felt they had benefited from undertaking the course. Mentors identified higher levels of confidence and greater depth of knowledge and skills amongst their students. Areas identified for further development by both groups were firstly, the preparation of mentors for their role in supporting the students undertaking an online course and secondly, the expected level of competence that students needed to display in practice. This study indicates online learning is useful in enhancing student competence but may be wrongly seen as requiring less time commitment for both course members and mentors when compared to taught courses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / nursing
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Nursing / methods*
  • Faculty, Nursing
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Mentors*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Teaching / methods*