A framework to develop a clinical learning culture in health facilities: ideas from the literature


Dr Amanda Henderson, Nursing Director (Education), Metro South Health Service District, PAH, Woolloongabba, Qld. 4102, Australia; Tel: 617-3176-2780; Fax: 617-3176-7356; E-mail: amanda_henderson@health.qld.gov.au.


HENDERSON A., BRIGGS J., SCHOONBEEK S., & PATERSON K. (2011) A framework to develop a clinical learning culture in health facilities: ideas from the literature. International Nursing Review58, 196–202

Background:  Internationally, there is an increase in demand to educate nurses within the clinical practice environment. Clinical practice settings that encourage teaching and learning during episodes of care delivery can be powerful in educating both the existing nursing workforce and nursing students.

Aim:  This paper presents a framework, informed by the literature, that identifies the key factors that are needed to encourage the interactions fundamental to learning in clinical practice.

Key concepts:  Learning occurs when nurses demonstrate good practice, share their knowledge through conversations and discussions, and also provide feedback to learners, such as students and novices. These types of interactions occur when positive leadership practices encourage trust and openness between staff; when the management team provides sessions for staff to learn how to interact with learners, and also when partnerships provide support and guidance around learning in the workplace.

Application of concepts:  This framework presents how the concepts of leadership, management and partnership interact to create and sustain learning environments. The feedback from proposed measurement tools can provide valuable information about the positive and negative aspects of these concepts in the clinical learning environment. Analysis of the subscales can assist in identifying appropriate recommended strategies outlined in the framework to guide nurses in improving the recognized deficits in the relationship between the concepts.

Conclusion: Leadership, management and partnerships are pivotal for the creation and maintenance of positive learning environments. Diagnostic measurement tools can provide specific information about weaknesses across these areas. This knowledge can guide future initiatives.