Experiences of direct care registered nurses using a professional practice model: A qualitative study

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OBJECTIVE: The goal of this descriptive phenomenological research was to explore the individual and collective lived experiences of inpatient, direct care nurses practicing in a community-based hospital within the framework of a nursing professional practice model. Method: A snowball sampling methodology was employed. Data were collected via semi-structured focus groups with twenty participants. Qualitative data analysis followed Colaizzi’s steps to arrive at common themes and provide rich detail. Scientific rigor and trustworthiness were maintained. Results: Six main themes emerged the described the nurses’ lived experiences with the PPM. Foundation of care; promotion of consistent and standardized patient care. Professional knowledge; expanding personal knowledge and subsequent sharing of this knowledge to edify nursing peers. Reflective practice; change in practice and improved patient care facilitated by reflective practice and reflective thinking. Collegiality; PPM use facilitated interdisciplinary communication and professional growth. Cohesion of model components, whole PPM greater than the sum of the individual components. Inconsistency of use; fragmented model use and reinforcement. These themes incorporated the aspect of model use, outcomes, and opportunities for improvement. Findings: If institutions want to implement and actively use a PPM, active promotion beyond a simple orientation is required. The PPM must be highly visible, consistently reinforced, and use continuously evaluated. Administration, managers, and nursing staff need a congruent expectation and understanding of model use and adoption. Managers should evaluate model use as part of the performance review process. Nurses should familiarize themselves with the institutional PPM, actively engage the PPM, and hold one another accountable for PPM use.

Nursing professional practice model