Nurse experiences learning from cross-disciplinary training

Mei Kuei Wang, Shu Yuan Lin, Chuan Chiang Chou, Mei Hsing Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Knowledge learned from cross-training and its practice in patient care can facilitate nurse professional growth. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the learning experiences of nurses who received cross-training in different units. Methods: A phenomenological approach was used, and Colaizzi's method (1978) was applied to analyze data. Study participants were recruited from a population of staff nurses who had received cross-training at different units in a medical center between January and December, 2007. A purposive sampling method was used, and in-depth interviews were audio-recorded to collect the narratives of eleven nurses. Results: The two phenomenological themes identified included: (1) entering into strange territory and (2) transcending personal limitations. In the process of cross-training, nurses first adapted to different environments and depended on others for support. Afterward, they faced difficulties in interpersonal relationships and faced inner conflict on many issues. Finally, after an initial learning process, they report feeling of breaking through personal limitations and achieving professional growth. Reflecting on the cross-training process, participants related that knowledge internalization and hands-on experiences, although for many a difficult experience, helped them attain better learning attitudes and achievements. Conclusions / Implications for practice: Nurses experienced feelings of helplessness, fear and frustration while participating in their cross-disciplinary training. However, the improvement in professional knowledge and healthcare capabilities that resulted can enrich their professional skills and careers. We hope study findings may be referenced by nursing administrators involved in planning cross-disciplinary training for nurses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-106
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nursing and Healthcare Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nursing(all)


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