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Keywords:

  • Germany;
  • Masters Education;
  • nursing;
  • professionalization;
  • United Kingdom

watkins d. (2011)  The influence of Masters education on the professional lives of British and German nurses and the further professionalization of nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing67(12), 2605–2614.

Abstract

Aims.  This article reports on findings from a qualitative study which explored the influence of a Masters in Nursing on the professional lives of British and German nurses and its role in further professionalizing nursing.

Background.  A collaborative Masters programme was delivered in the United Kingdom and Germany. This provided an opportunity to study the influence of the programme on the professionalization of nursing in different country contexts. Continuing education is thought to contribute to furthering professionalization. Evidence to support this in the field of nursing is limited.

Methods.  An interpretive research design was used and data were collected via semi-structured interviews with ten German nurses and nine British nurses. Data were collected in the United Kingdom and Germany from August 2006 to February 2007. Interviews were recorded and transcribed, and data were analysed using a template approach with further immersion and crystalization of the data.

Findings.  Nurses’ personal and professional confidence improved; research-based evidence was used to underpin changes made to practice; new roles and careers emerged; multi-professional working was enhanced; and nurses rediscovered nursing and championed the profession.

Conclusion.  A diagram is presented based on the findings. Masters education is at the centre as the catalyst with four interconnecting circles, which depict elements that contribute to professionalization. The diagram highlights overlap and interplay between nurses’ increased personal confidence, improved cognitive functioning, evidence-based practice development and enhanced professionalism. Findings support the theory that this Masters in Nursing programme enhanced practice and further professionalization of nursing in both countries.