This presentation offers some findings from an iterative case study that explored the practice of nurse educators within a European Nurse Education Network and the impact this had for participants. This network is one of a plethora of networks in the field of nurse education with nine active networks identified across Europe all pertaining to inform nurse education. Yet networks are an area of practice that is generally poorly explored with minimal literature analysing the processes value and impact of educational networks (Mujis 2010).
Nurse educators across Europe work in a complex and demanding profession which is diminishing in size and becoming isolated (Wells and Norman 2009). Whilst this is a global phenomenon (McDermid et al. 2012) this is compounded in Europe by a lack of consistency of standards of education across countries impacting on career pathways of both novice and experienced nurse educators.
This study explores the potential for professional development of nurse educators through a work related practice of engaging in a transnational network. More particularly how learning can occur through the conduit of social capital that is established within such a network (Putnam 2000). Within this study learning is defined as occurring within the definitions of scholarly activity as originally identified by Boyer (1990).