Role of Dutch internal policy advisors in a hospital quality improvement programme and their influence on nurses’ role development: A qualitative study

J. van Roekel - van Schothorst*, Anne Marie J.W.M. Weggelaar-Jansen, Carina C.G.J.M. Hilders, Iris Wallenburg, Antoinette de Bont

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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    Abstract

    Objective
    Nurses are vital in providing and improving quality of care. To enhance the quality improvement (QI) competencies of nurses, hospitals in the Netherlands run developmental programmes generally led by internal policy advisors (IPAs). In this study, we identify the roles IPAs play during these programmes to enhance the development of nurses’ QI competencies and studied how these roles influenced nurses and management.

    Design
    An exploratory ethnographical study comprising observations, informal conversations, semistructured interviews, focus groups and a strategy evaluation
    meeting.

    Setting
    A teaching hospital in an urban region in the Netherlands. Participants IPAs (n=7) in collaboration with four teams of nurses (n=131), team managers (n=4), senior managers (n=4) and the hospital director (n=1).

    Results
    We identified five distinct advisory roles that IPAs perform in the hospital programme: gatekeeper, connector, converter, reflector and implementer. In describing these roles, we provide insights into how IPAs help nurses
    to develop QI competencies. The IPA’s professional background was a driving force for nurses’ QI role development. However, QI development was threatened
    if IPAs lost sight of different stakeholders’ interests and consequently lost their credibility. QI role development among nurses was also threatened if the IPA took on all responsibility instead of delegating it timely to managers
    and nurses.

    Conclusions
    We have shown how IPAs’ professional background and advisory knowledge connect organisational, managerial and professional aims and interests to enhance professionalisation of nurses.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere051998
    JournalBMJ Open
    Volume11
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Keywords

    • Hospitals
    • Humans
    • Nurse's Role
    • Policy
    • Qualitative Research
    • Quality Improvement

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