Background Specialist palliative care services in New Zealand expects registered nurses to be practicing at a ‘proficient’ or ‘expert’ level. The evidence for this is through a collection of documentation and appraisals gathered as a professional portfolio. A review of nurses within the organisation uncovered a lower than expected percentage who currently hold a portfolio. A study has been undertaken to research nurses’ current understanding of these levels of practice and perceived barriers and benefits.
Aims To ascertain nurses’ understanding of the process involved in creating a portfolio and their perceived benefits and barriers around this process. As this is a contractual condition it is important to identify issues and reticence so that as an organisation these can be addressed and nurses are able to demonstrate their clinical competence. These benefits and barriers would then be benchmarked at similar organisations nationally.
Method Approval for this study was necessary from the Clinical Development Specialist, Clinical Manager, Human Resources and Chief Executive Officer, as questionnaires were sent to all nursing staff. These were sent both electronically and also as hard copies. The information was then collated to identify common themes and issues which arose. As part of the study other hospices were then contacted to circulate the questionnaires to nursing staff so comparisons and benchmarking could be completed.
Results Results are still being collated at time of writing. The response rate has been encouraging with a current return rate of between 30%–40% of nurses responding.
Conclusion From the original organisational results we have found definite gaps in understanding of what the different levels of practice are, as well as some commonly perceived barriers. These initial findings will be presented to the management levels by late July 2018 and the results from across New Zealand should be reportable by early September 2018.
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