Investigating the Educational Needs of Nurses in Telepractice: A Descriptive Exploratory Study

  • Lorraine Carter
  • Shirlene Hudyma
  • Judith Horrigan


Although some nursing bodies have recognized nursing telepractice as a specialty, with its own knowledge, skills, and attitudes, there is little documented evidence of the education- al needs of Canadian nurses working in tele- health. However, now that telehealth has been recognized as a partial solution to Canada’s health-care challenges, the area requires our attention as educators. This article is based on a study that explored the educational needs of 138 telehealth nurses practising across Canada; participants included nurses from most of the provinces and territories. The nurses were asked to complete a series of open-ended questions related to their educational needs and practice, and the data were analyzed using the methods of Miles and Huberman (1994). The study findings are discussed in the context of continuing education.

Author Biographies

Lorraine Carter
Lorraine Carter is a professor at Laurentian University in Sudbury, ON. She has particular expertise in online education for health professionals, continuing and distance education, and telehealth. Her doctoral work examined the critical thinking and writing experiences of post-RN nurses taking a baccalaureate-level online course.
Shirlene Hudyma
Shirlene Hudyma has been a full-time faculty member with the Laurentian University School of Nursing since July 2008. Prior to this, she worked part-time as a faculty advisor and clinical educator throughout all year levels of the BScN program.
Judith Horrigan
Judith Horrigan is a full-time faculty member at the Laurentian University School of Nursing. She has over 25 years of experience in a variety of urban, rural, and remote clinical settings. Her research interests include distance education, occupational health, and health policy research.