Nurses' learning capabilities by using action research: A change from a medical to a person-centred approach

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  • Jette Rolf Svanholm, Denmark
  • Irene Sommer , Department of Cardiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark., Denmark
  • Helena Friis Jensen, Department of Cardiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark., Denmark
  • Anne Laustsen, Department of Cardiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark., Denmark
  • Charlotte Delmar
  • Inge Schjødt
The assumption of our study was that when nurses’ existing capabilities are deeply rooted in routines, action research is suitable to change practice as it involves and engages the nurses. The objective was to explore supportive and obstructive factors for the nurses’ learning capabilities in a cardiology health care setting using action research when changing from a primarily medical-centered to a person-centered nursing approach. An action research design was used. Data was generated through qualitative methods. Systematic text condensation was used for data analysis. Eight specialized cardiac nurses and three researchers participated. The results showed that the process was complex and challenging for the nurses. Four main points were developed: 1) A major obstacle to jeopardize customary practice – but it can be overcome, 2) The culture was challenged by the nurses’ participation in democratic processes, 3) Mirroring own practice strengthen nurses’ self-perception, 4) Learning capabilities require a sustained effort. It is concluded that nurses working and participating in a democratic way in their practice contributed to develop the nurses with continued learning capabilities, which significantly supported the change. The result is a strengthening of nurses' self-perception, motivation, professional identity and capacity to work jointly, critically and with commitment to create meaningful and renewable change and cohesiveness in the organizational context. It was important for the process that nurses as insider action researchers managed to be aware of organizational possibilities and obstacles.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordisk Sygeplejeforskning
Pages (from-to)187-203
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

    Research areas

  • action research, learning, nursing, person-centred nursing, qualitative method

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