Economising learning: how nurses maintain competence with limited resources

Rees, Sharon C. (2016) Economising learning: how nurses maintain competence with limited resources. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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Abstract

Continuous learning is essential for registered nurses to maintain knowledge of current best practice, and therefore facilitate the best possible outcomes for patients. Gaining access to learning, and the time to engage in learning, requires the nurse to contribute personal resources such as time and money. Nurses often have limited access to learning while at work due to staffing levels and the fast pace of the work environment. They often have limited resources outside of work hours to contribute to their learning. Therefore alternative strategies for learning need to be explored to enable the nurse to continuously learn.

This research sought to discover how registered nurses were currently using mobile devices in their work and private lives, to ascertain if mobile learning would be of value in nursing education and where it would be best used. Nurses mostly did not have concerns about using mobile devices, however, it became evident in interviews that they were mostly concerned with maintaining competence with limited resources.

This classic grounded theory research revealed that nurses economise learning to enable them to address their concern of maintaining competence with limited resources. They achieve this by balancing personal resources against motivational issues within the continuous process of economising learning.

The process of economising learning commences and ends with the nurse’s personal curriculum, which has been developed throughout the nurse’s career, and is what the nurse identifies as important learning needs within the work area. Nurses become aware of a learning need when their personal curricula are compromised or they become aware of other knowledge that is needed for their work area. The learning opportunity to meet the learning need will be found and balanced by individual nurses, to determine if and how they will engage with the opportunity. Finally nurses will engage or not in the learning and update their personal curricula accordingly.

The Theory of Economising Learning, together with the reviewed literature has led to the development of a Healthy Learning Workplace Model to determine and
improve the health of the workplace in regard to learning. The model contains the four domains of expectations, current, economical access, and support. Each of these domains needs to be occurring at the optimum level in order for learning to be ‘healthy’ within the organisation and have nurses undertaking continuing learning.


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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Nursing and Midwifery
Supervisors: Farley, Helen
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2017 02:37
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2018 01:33
Uncontrolled Keywords: nurses; nursing; mobile learning; learning
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/32850

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