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Keywords:

  • community care;
  • nursing management;
  • skill mix;
  • work engagement

Aim

This study evaluated the effect of a skill-mix programme intervention on work engagement in home visiting nurses.

Background

A skill-mix programme in which home visiting nurses are assisted by non-nursing workers is assumed to foster home visiting nurses' work engagement.

Method

Pre- and post-intervention evaluations of work engagement were conducted using self-administered questionnaires. A skill-mix programme was introduced in the intervention group of home visiting nurses. After 6 months, their pre- and post-intervention work engagement ratings were compared with those of a control group.

Result

Baseline questionnaires were returned by 174 home visiting nurses (44 in the intervention group, 130 in the control group). Post-intervention questionnaires were returned by 38 and 97 home visiting nurses from each group. The intervention group's average work engagement scores were 2.2 at baseline and 2.3 at post-intervention; the control group's were 3.3 and 2.6. Generalised linear regression showed significant between-group differences in score changes.

Conclusion

The skill-mix programme might foster home visiting nurses' work engagement by improving the quality of care for each client. Future research is needed to explain the exact mechanisms that underlie its effectiveness.

Implications for nursing management

In order to improve the efficiency of services provided by home visiting nurses and foster their work engagement, skill-mix programmes might be beneficial.