Evaluating trauma nursing education: An integrative literature review

Nurse Educ Today. 2016 Sep:44:33-42. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2016.05.002. Epub 2016 May 15.


Objective: A review of the current literature evaluating trauma nursing education.

Background: A variety of trauma nursing courses exist, to educate nurses working in trauma settings, and to maintain their continuing professional development. Despite an increase in the number of courses delivered, there appears to be a lack of evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of trauma nursing education and in particular the justification for this resource allocation.

Design: Integrative literature review.

Data sources: A search of international literature on trauma nursing education evaluation published in English from 1985 to 2015 was conducted through electronic databases CINAHL Plus, Google Scholar, PubMed, Austhealth, Science Citation Index Expanded (Web of Science), Sciverse Science Direct (Elsevier) & One file (Gale). Only peer reviewed journal articles identifying trauma course and trauma nursing course evaluation have been included in the selection criteria.

Review methods: An integrative review of both quantitative and qualitative literature guided by Whittemore and Knafl's theoretical framework using Bowling's and Pearson's validated appraisal checklists, has been conducted for three months.

Results: Only 17 studies met the inclusion criteria, including 14 on trauma course evaluation and 3 on trauma nursing course evaluation. Study findings are presented as two main themes: the historical evolution of trauma nursing education and evaluation of trauma nursing education outcomes.

Conclusion: Trauma nursing remains in its infancy and education in this specialty is mainly led by continuing professional development courses. The shortage of evaluation studies on trauma nursing courses reflects the similar status in continuing professional development course evaluation. A trauma nursing course evaluation study will address the gap in this under researched area.

Keywords: Continuing professional education evaluation; Emergency nursing history; Integrative literature review; Trauma nursing education evaluation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Education, Nursing, Continuing*
  • Humans
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Trauma and Stressor Related Disorders / nursing*
  • Traumatology / education*