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Keywords:

  • intervention;
  • learning;
  • middle management;
  • organisational culture;
  • practice;
  • support

Aim

This study evaluated the impact of different levels of engaging middle management in ward based strategies implemented by a project educator.

Background

The challenge for learning in practice is to develop effective teams where experienced staff engage and foster learning with students and other novice staff.

Design

A quasi-experimental pre- and post- intervention four group design was conducted from November 2009 to May 2010 across four general surgical and four general medical inpatient matched units in two settings in South East Queensland, Australia.

Method

Staff survey data was used to compare control and intervention groups (one actively engaging nurse managers) before and after ‘practice learning’ interventions. The survey comprised demographic data and data from two validated scales (support instrument for nurses facilitating learning and clinical learning organisational culture).

Results

Number of surveys returned pre- and post-intervention was 336 from 713 (47%). There were significant differences across many subscales pertaining to staff perception of support in the intervention groups, with only one change in the control group. The number of significant different subscales in the learning culture was also greater when middle management supported the intervention.

Implications for nursing management

Middle management should work closely with facilitators to assist embedding practice interventions.