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Identifying and acquiring the contextual skills and knowledge for nursing practice in assisted reproductive technology: a grounded theory study

Authors

  • Judith Applegarth,

    1. Authors:Judith Applegarth, PhD, RN, RM, Clinic Manager and IVF Nurse, Monash IVF, Australia & Central Queensland University, Institute of Health and Social Science Research and School of Nursing and Midwifery, Rockhampton; Trudy Dwyer, PhD, RN, Associate Professor, Central Queensland University, Institute of Health and Social Science Research and School of Nursing and Midwifery, Rockhampton; Lorna Moxham, PhD, RN, MHN, Professor, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Studies, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW and Institute of Health and Social Science Research, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton; Brenda Happell, PhD, RN, RPN, Professor, Engaged Research Chair in Mental Health Nursing and Director, Central Queensland University, Institute of Health and Social Science Research and School of Nursing and Midwifery, Rockhampton, Australia
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  • Trudy Dwyer,

    1. Authors:Judith Applegarth, PhD, RN, RM, Clinic Manager and IVF Nurse, Monash IVF, Australia & Central Queensland University, Institute of Health and Social Science Research and School of Nursing and Midwifery, Rockhampton; Trudy Dwyer, PhD, RN, Associate Professor, Central Queensland University, Institute of Health and Social Science Research and School of Nursing and Midwifery, Rockhampton; Lorna Moxham, PhD, RN, MHN, Professor, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Studies, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW and Institute of Health and Social Science Research, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton; Brenda Happell, PhD, RN, RPN, Professor, Engaged Research Chair in Mental Health Nursing and Director, Central Queensland University, Institute of Health and Social Science Research and School of Nursing and Midwifery, Rockhampton, Australia
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  • Lorna Moxham,

    1. Authors:Judith Applegarth, PhD, RN, RM, Clinic Manager and IVF Nurse, Monash IVF, Australia & Central Queensland University, Institute of Health and Social Science Research and School of Nursing and Midwifery, Rockhampton; Trudy Dwyer, PhD, RN, Associate Professor, Central Queensland University, Institute of Health and Social Science Research and School of Nursing and Midwifery, Rockhampton; Lorna Moxham, PhD, RN, MHN, Professor, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Studies, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW and Institute of Health and Social Science Research, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton; Brenda Happell, PhD, RN, RPN, Professor, Engaged Research Chair in Mental Health Nursing and Director, Central Queensland University, Institute of Health and Social Science Research and School of Nursing and Midwifery, Rockhampton, Australia
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  • Brenda Happell

    1. Authors:Judith Applegarth, PhD, RN, RM, Clinic Manager and IVF Nurse, Monash IVF, Australia & Central Queensland University, Institute of Health and Social Science Research and School of Nursing and Midwifery, Rockhampton; Trudy Dwyer, PhD, RN, Associate Professor, Central Queensland University, Institute of Health and Social Science Research and School of Nursing and Midwifery, Rockhampton; Lorna Moxham, PhD, RN, MHN, Professor, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Studies, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW and Institute of Health and Social Science Research, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton; Brenda Happell, PhD, RN, RPN, Professor, Engaged Research Chair in Mental Health Nursing and Director, Central Queensland University, Institute of Health and Social Science Research and School of Nursing and Midwifery, Rockhampton, Australia
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Brenda Happell, Professor, Engaged Research Chair in Mental Health Nursing and Director, Central Queensland University, Institute of Health and Social Science Research and School of Nursing and Midwifery, Bruce Highway, Rockhampton 4702, Australia. Telephone: +61 749232164.
E-mail:b.happell@cqu.edu.au

Abstract

Aims and objectives.  To identify the contextual knowledge and skills required for practice.

Background.  Nursing practice in assisted reproductive technology (ART) makes a significant contribution to patient care. Despite this, the knowledge and skills integral to this area of practice have not been clearly articulated, particularly from an Australian perspective.

Design.  A constructivist grounded theory design was used to gain the perspective of ART nurses in relation to how they understood their clinical practice as well as the issues and challenges that they faced.

Methods.  Individual in-depth interviews were undertaken with 15 registered nurses working in ART units across Australia. Constant comparative data analysis was used to determine the main categories.

Results.  Contextual knowledge and skills was one category to emerge from this research, and this is the focus of this paper. The findings in respect of knowledge and skill included three main subcategories: required skills and knowledge; acquisition of skills and knowledge; and factors influencing acquisition.

Conclusions.  The role of the ART nurse which must be performed within the context and competency standards of nursing requires a framework that could define and contribute to specialised ART nursing practice standards.

Relevance to clinical practice.  The nursing role is instrumental to effective ART treatment and care. The standard of clinical practice will depend in part on the ability of specialist nurses to articulate their practice, and their professional development needs to optimise quality and effectiveness. The results of this study demonstrate that contextual knowledge and skills are a key aspect of this specialised nursing role.

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