Provision of healthcare occurs under an environment of constant change, modernization, and transformation. Patients have a right to quality, timely, and affordable care, and practice development optimizes healthcare improvement through an anticipatory change approach to offer patient-centered, evidence-based care (Manley, Watts, Cunningham, & Davies, 2011). The third principle of practice development entails work-based learning approaches that enhance active learning within the workplace and the primary intention is to ensure the right mix of skills, enhancement of the nursing practice, professional activity, increased patient satisfaction levels, and noticeable change in practice (Manley, McCormack, & Titchen, 2013). In essence, this principle is critical because it facilitates a culture change an creates a favorable learning environment where nursing professionals can exchange ideas, learn from each other, and use the skills gained from the process to enhance the quality of service.
Work-based learning is effective because it links learning to actual practice. It enables the nursing professional to understand the relationship between learning and work and emerges because of work demands as opposed to educational programs. This approach is a valuable experience for nurses because it entails more than the regular training courses because it exists in various forms (McCormack et al., 2009). In the image above, the professionals would gain from teamwork skills, mentoring, and coaching offered by experienced nurses. Learning in a professional setting is beneficial because the nurse receives immediate feedback and support. Healthcare facilities should create a culture and environment that fosters workplace learning because the opportunities for professional development are numerous.
When nurses identify and analyze their preferred learning styles, they might discover that they do not always exploit the opportunities available at the workplace. Planned and unplanned learning opportunities exist at the workplace, and nurses could consider enhancing their professional skills by assuming other tasks other than the ones assigned to them (Manley, McCormack, & Wilson, 2013). Equally, they could benefit significantly from colleagues and experienced nurses that might provide new insights and knowledge applicable within the workplace. Building professional relationships from the rapport that inevitably emerges is beneficial for the nurse’s current and future practice.
Nurses should transition from passive to active learners and nurse leaders have a duty to ensure nurses have access to learning opportunities at their workstations. When nurses collaborate at the workplace, they realize that theory and practice are inseparable and that they could seize the opportunity to advance their knowledge and professional skills (Wright, McDowell, Leese, & McHardy, 2009). In most cases, effective staff development happens when training programs are tailored to meet professional and personal needs. The work-based learning approaches and active learning strategies meet the practical, theoretical, and attendant philosophical factors that reinforce practice development.
Through emphasis on practice development, healthcare providers can demonstrate how individual nurses, teams, and the entire facilities could benefit from the principles, philosophies, and techniques that promote excellence in healthcare provision. Learning on the job and becoming an active learner enables the nurse to put skills and knowledge gained to immediate use. Nurse leaders could create such opportunities and motivate nurses to take part in available training programs because the benefits transcend specific healthcare facilities. Collaborative working has added advantages in that it creates room for continuous learning and development. Healthcare providers have a duty to address and respond to the growing need for change. Understanding the principles of practice development and putting them to use ensures quality and evidence-based care for patients. In essence, the primary goal of such initiatives is to guarantee patient-centered care.
Manley, K., McCormack, B., & Titchen, A. (2013). Practice Development in Nursing and Healthcare. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell
Manley, K., McCormack, B., & Wilson, V. (2013). International Practice Development in Nursing and Healthcare. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Manley, K., Watts, C., Cunningham, G., & Davies, J. (2011). Principles of nursing practice: development and implementation. Nursing Standards, 25(27), 35-37.
McCormack, B., et al. (2009). Practice development: Realising active learning for sustainable change. Contemporary Nurse, 32(12), 92-104
Wright, W., McDowell, J. R. S., Leese, G., & McHardy, K. C. (2009). A scoping exercise of work-based learning and assessment in multidisciplinary health care in Scotland. Journal of Practice Teaching & Learning, 10(2), 28-42