johnson a., hong h., groth m. & parker s.k. (2011) Learning and development: promoting nurses’ performance and work attitudes. Journal of Advanced Nursing 67(3), 609–620.
Aim. This paper is a report of a study of the relations of coaching and developing clinical practice on nurses’ work place attitudes and self-reported performance, as mediated by role breadth self-efficacy and flexible role orientation.
Background. Previous research into the effectiveness of nurses’ learning and development activities has mainly focused on specific skill and knowledge acquisition outcomes. Few studies investigate the relationship between learning and development activities and work attitudes or performance, or explore mediating mechanisms in this process. Previous literature suggests that malleable cognitive and motivational constructs may be important mechanisms for improving work attitudes and proactive performance.
Method. We surveyed 404 qualified nurses from a large, metropolitan public hospital in Australia in 2006 using validated measures from previous research. Descriptive statistics, correlation analysis and hierarchical regression analyses were conducted.
Results. The results show a clear association between learning and development activities and work attitudes and performance. Developing clinical practice improved self-rated performance and coaching improved work attitudes. In addition, role breadth self-efficacy and flexible role orientation mediated these relationships and emerge as important mechanisms in the link between learning and development and work attitudes and performance.
Conclusion. Investment in learning and development activities for nurses improves outcomes for nurses, the organization and patients.