How registered nurses balance limited resources in order to maintain competence: a grounded theory study

Rees, Sharon and Farley, Helen and Moloney, Clint ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2520-1506 (2021) How registered nurses balance limited resources in order to maintain competence: a grounded theory study. BMC Nursing, 20 (1):176. pp. 1-10.

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Abstract

Background: Nurses have limited time outside of work for continuing professional development. Consequently, strategies need to be explored to enable them to better maintain their competence. This article describes recent research investigating if nursing behaviours in the use of mobile technologies could be leveraged to better facilitate mobile learning. It addresses a gap in the existing literature around how nurses resource their own professional development and learning in the absence of appropriate learning resources in the workplace. Methods: The research employed a classic grounded theory methodology which was conducted with 27 registered nurses from Public and Private Hospitals in Queensland and external postgraduate nursing students from Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory enrolled at the University of Southern Queensland. Results: The Theory of Economising Learning describes how nurses maintain competence with limited resources. Unfavourable staffing levels and a fast-paced workplace mean that nurses rarely prioritise their professional learning while at work. Instead, it requires the nurse to contribute personal resources including time and money. Though the research revealed nurses were unconcerned about using mobile technologies, they were concerned about maintaining competence with limited resources. To counter this, nurses economised their learning by balancing personal resources against their motivation to maintain competence. The process of economising learning begins and ends with the development of the nurse’s personal curriculum in response to what they identify as being the most significant knowledge deficits at work that jeopardise their competence. A learning opportunity that addresses the knowledge deficit is sought. Nurses balance the opportunity to address the deficit against the cost of personal resources, to decide if they will engage with the opportunity and update their personal curriculum accordingly. Conclusions: It is suggested that workplaces need to create reasonable expectations within nurses to address knowledge deficits and provide the resources, including time, to allow them to do so without personal cost. It is also necessary for workplaces to moderate the flow of learning opportunities so as not to overwhelm and demotivate the nurses. Currently, nurses use several strategies to optimise their learning using mobile technologies which could be leveraged in the workplace.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © The Author(s). 2021 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Nursing and Midwifery (1 Jan 2015 - )
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Nursing and Midwifery (1 Jan 2015 - )
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2022 02:08
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2022 02:06
Uncontrolled Keywords: Continuing education; Mobile learning; Nurse education; Online learning; Professional development
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4205 Nursing > 420505 Nursing workforce
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 20 HEALTH > 2099 Other health > 209999 Other health not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12912-021-00672-6
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/45415

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