• nursing development unit;
  • participatory action research

Keatinge D, Scarfe C. International Journal of Nursing Practice 1998; 4: 120–125

Creating a nursing development unit in a dementia care context

This paper describes the process through which a Nursing Development Unit (NDU) was created in a 29-bed unit in which nurses care for severely demented residents. The question about whether or not ethics clearance is required for the development phase of NDUs is discussed, and the framework in which to develop the NDU described. The benefits of using Participatory Action Research as the basis for undertaking a continuous process of reflection and change is highlighted. It is also suggested that two key elements necessary for NDUs are that they are ‘owned’ by the staff who work in them and that they are supported by senior management of the organisations in which they exist.