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Title: Exploring the transition from staff nurse to ward sister/manager : an exploratory case study
Author: Enterkin, Judith
ISNI:       0000 0004 7224 7192
Awarding Body: London South Bank University
Current Institution: London South Bank University
Date of Award: 2016
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Background The ward sister/manager figure has traditionally been considered the ward based clinical leader. This role has evolved over time in response to professional and political demands; despite or because of this, reports of role ambiguity exist and the ward sister/manager position has become increasingly difficult to recruit to, with nurses arguably looking to roles perceived to have greater influence and status, but less onerous managerial responsibility. Understanding the nature of this role and the factors that may impact upon the transition from staff nurse to ward sister/manager is of great significance. The gaps in understanding related to development in preparation for and in the early stages of this role, led to this research, with the aim of understanding the experience of the transition and the impact of organisation factors, and whether they facilitate or hinder the process of transition for this group of nurses. Study design A case study approach consisting of interviews and documentary analysis was undertaken in one metropolitan National Health Service hospital, underpinned by a critical realist approach. The case study comprised interviews with six nurses, repeated over time with three of those nurses, who had recently participated in a leadership development programme and key informants who were senior practitioners within the organisation or who were recommended by participants, in combination with strategy and policy scrutiny and website analysis. Ritchie and Spencer’s Framework approach was used to support the management and subsequent analysis of the data. Findings The ward sister/manager role was identified as a vital role, but the managerial components of the role served as a significant disincentive to participants. Participants required support from significant role models during the transition process, although the degree of support, both required and available, varied. Motivating factors and the sense of job satisfaction were essential for developing a sense of self-fulfilment. A range of support mechanisms were present and utilised across the organisation but these appeared disparate and the lack of a unifying vision for nursing services was apparent. Contribution to knowledge Developing into the ward sister/manager role involves a significant transition that has not previously been acknowledged. Job satisfaction in the ward sister/manager role is significantly affected by organisational factors, as well as individual factors. The organisation itself contributes to the role legitimacy of this role.
Supervisor: Gibson, Faith ; Crombie, Alison Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral