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Learning Issues for Nurses in Renal Satellite Centres


: Dr Sally Wellard, School of Nursing, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Vic. 3125, Australia. Email:


The introduction of ‘satellite’ dialysis centres has increased local access to renal services for patients living in rural and remote areas across Australia and is, therefore, consistent with rural health policies. Rural health strategies also aim to maintain and improve the skills of health professionals through regular review of the scope of their practice and evaluation of the education required. Yet, the results of the present national study of nurses working in satellite dialysis centres indicate that, for many, the context of practice influences their ability to access ongoing professional education to support and extend their nursing practice. The present study showed that there was a range of educational backgrounds among nurses working in rural ‘satellite’ centres with reportedly limited access to specific dialysis-related professional development. In the present paper we report on factors that influence the ability of nurses working in satellite dialysis centres to access ongoing professional education.