The Impacts for the Registered Nurses of the New Entry to Specialty Practice Mental Health and Addiction Nursing Programme, of the Programme, on their Personal and Professional Development
A qualified and competent nursing workforce is critical to the health and wellbeing of any society. New Entry to Specialty Practice Mental Health and Addiction Nursing (NESP) programmes were developed in New Zealand to assist nurses’ transition to mental health nursing practice. These programmes have been well embedded in mental health nursing for over twenty years and are reported to have been highly effective in the preparation of a skilled and competent mental health nursing workforce.Mental health nursing has always struggled to attract sufficient numbers of nurses to this field, therefore to date review has primarily focussed on fiscal and retention measurement, with little exploration of the mental health nurses’ experiences following completion of the entry to specialty practice programme. The purpose of this small study, involving thirteen participants, was to develop a greater understanding of the nurses’ experiences three to six years after the programme, in terms of exploring the impact on their personal and professional development. Personal development activities being those that improve awareness and identity, develop talent and potential, facilitate employability, enhance quality of life and contribute to the realisation of dreams and aspirations. Professional development focuses on skills and knowledge attained for both personal and career advancement. Taking a qualitative descriptive approach, data was gathered from in-depth semi structured interviews, which were then thematically analysed. This study illuminated the impact of the NESP programme on the nurses’ personal and professional development, reflected in the key themes of well set up, thinking differently, interconnectedness and reciprocation. The impact of the programme for the nurses was that they were well prepared for a career in the specialist field of mental health nursing. The programme afforded them opportunities, experiences and connections that enabled them to competently deliver evidence-based, contemporary and collaborative person-centred care. The nurses were able to advance in their careers. Reciprocation, as the final theme reflected the participants’ engagement with the next generation of nurses through activities that sought to support, nurture and inspire them.
Advisor: Burrell, Beverley; Crowe, Marie
Degree Name: Master of Health Sciences
Degree Discipline: Centre for Post Graduate Nursing Studies
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: workforce; development; nursing; NESP; professional development; advancing practice; specialty practice; mental health nursing; New Zealand; post graduate education; transition; personal development; early career
Research Type: Thesis