Effectiveness of educational programs for clinical competence in family nursing: a systematic review
Evidence shows that applying family nursing theory to practice benefits the patient, the family, and nursing professionals, yet the implementation of family nursing in clinical practice settings is inconsistent and limited. One of the contributing factors may be related to insufficient or inadequate educational programs focused on family nursing. This article presents a systematic review of the research that has examined the effectiveness of family nursing educational programs aimed at promoting clinical competence in family nursing. Six databases were systematically searched and 14 studies met the inclusion criteria, generating three themes: general study characteristics, educational program components, and outcome measures. These educational programs reported effectiveness in developing family nursing knowledge, skills, and attitudes, but did not evaluate the nurses' actual acquisition and implementation of family nursing clinical competencies. This review offers relevant implications for research and for family nursing education, especially when designing and evaluating future educational programs. Future research must more closely address the process and outcomes of best educational practices in family nursing education and how these are applied and evaluated in actual practice settings.