Shared learning database

Royal College of Nursing
Published date:
February 2011

A learning resource developed to support nurses and allied health professionals involved in NICE guideline development.

Guidance the shared learning relates to:
Does the example relate to a general implementation of all NICE guidance?
Does the example relate to a specific implementation of a specific piece of NICE guidance?


Aims and objectives

Nurses and allied professionals are involved in guideline development. They participate as members of the development groups and through their professional organisations also review draft guidance. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has identified that there is need to support nurses involved in this work and is developing an educational resource to support these professionals. The resource is being developed in a modular programme and two of the modules have been piloted with nurses and forms part of the RCN's strategic plan for supporting nurses with guideline development. This workshop will give an overview of the educational resource and enable participants to evaluate some of the learning materials. To develop, support and enhance nurses' and allied health professionals' involvement in NICE guideline development.

Reasons for implementing your project

Feedback from nurses involved in NICE guideline work, indicated that some required further support and preparation prior to their involvement to help them make more effective contribution and support implementation. A survey of those involved confirmed that an educational resource would be helpful with an indication of the areas they would most value support with. The RCN designed six modules of learning resource, consisting of two core modules to be taken by all. The other four modules are to be taken in any order and as needed. The resource will be available online on the RCN's website offering learners a blended and reflective learning opportunity. This will be a public facing resource not just a member benefit.

The benefits for this are that those participating in guideline work would be more informed of what is required of them and enable the RCN to grow a pool of others who will be willing and more confident to participate in this national work. We also plan to develop this as a buddy system to support e-learning with practical personal support. An additional benefit would be the better use of guideline nurses as champions of implementation - making better use of this resource of skilled nurses on the ground. This would improve practice, career development opportunity and facilitate implementation of the NICE guidance.

How did you implement the project

The project team developed content in consultation with nurses who have previously been involved in NICE guidance development for the six modules which consists of the following: Module 1 - Evidence Based Practice (Core Module) Module 2 - Critical Appraisal (Core Module) Module 3 - Group Process Module 4 - Project Management Module 5 - Health Economics Module 6 - Implementation. The outline content of these modules was shared in a series of workshops with interested participants. The feedback and views from the workshop participants were used to further develop the content of the modules. Two workshops were held giving an overview of Evidence Based Practice and Critical Appraisal modules. Following the feedback from the participants, these two modules are now being developed as an online learning resource. The implementation module is currently being developed. The contents will cover the following topics: - Theory of implementation - Practical steps - Use of resources and tools - Implementation teams. The RCN is a UK wide organisation and is also involved in Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Networks. This learning resource will be applicable for guideline development across the UK. About £3000 were incurred to fund the workshops and travel and accommodation for the attendees. The modules are being developed in tranches phased over two financial years. The resource will be accredited by the RCN's Accreditation Unit and the cost has been built into as part of the strategic plan and operational. The ultimate vision for this learning resource is for it to be evaluated and accredited by a Higher Education Institution. This will require significant financial investment to implement and the College is exploring options to implement this.

Key findings

We monitored progress and evaluated results through workshops and feedback from attendees. Participants gave an overwhelming response to development of this resource. They considered that having an overview and better understanding of evidenced based practice would help them participate more effectively and in a more efficient manner. The results from that workshop, Module 1 - Evidenced Based Practice were used to develop the online content which is currently being piloted. The evaluation and feedback from the pilot will be used to finalise this module as a learning resource.

Key learning points

The benefit to this learning resource is that it will help those interested in participating in guideline development to be more informed about this national work so they become more effective at what they do. Learners would be able to learn at their own pace using a blended and reflective approach. It also serves as a reference point should they require quick information for any part of the guideline development stage. The learning resource is multi professional and does not only apply to nurses.

Development of this type of learning resource requires passion and knowledge of the content together with dedication and commitment to develop help impart knowledge which would help professionals be best at what they are interested in. The RCN has developed specific e-learning resources to support nurses with the implementation of NICE guidelines. Recently, the RCN Learning Zone launched the following e-learning resources to support the implementation of NICE CG61 Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and CG92 VTE: reducing risk. These resources are available on the public facing and member side of the RCN website - . Also on the RCN website are actual stories of nurses involved in the implementation of specific NICE guidelines. These resources and stories will form part of the implementation module highlighting practical steps that nurses and allied health professional can take to implement guidelines. The developers had to fit this work into their work plan so it required a lot prioritising, effective project management and planning to see it through. A project team solely dedicated to this project would facilitate a quicker turnaround of the project. Success, also require the buy in of the project sponsor and the commitment of the professionals involved. Without their expertise, opinion and time, it would have been difficult to develop a resource that would be fit for purpose.

Contact details

Dr Jenny Gordon/Mrs Caroline Rapu/Mr Chris Watts
Programme Manager/RCN NICE Portfolio Project Manager/Project Manager
Royal College of Nursing

Is the example industry-sponsored in any way?