Development and implementation of a staff development plan for nurses in one district in Zambia based on a learning organization approach.
Libetwa, Miriam Chilembwe.
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This study explored the existing planning systems that nurse managers in health institutions in the Lusaka district in Zambia used to plan staff development activities, with a view to developing a model suitable for a staff development plan for all nurses in Zambia. The learning organization and transformational learning theory frameworks were used to guide the study. The learning organization framework was based on Senge (1990), The Fifth Discipline, which addressed five components, namely, systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, building shared vision and team learning. The transformational learning theory framework was based on (Gravette 2000), which addressed the reflective and constructive processes that employees go through during their learning. A survey and action research methods were used to explore the planning systems which nursing managers in the Lusaka district used to plan staff development activities. The total population of nurses designated as nursing managers, registered nurses and enrolled nurses working in the central hospital (734 nurses), in the specialized hospital (128 nurses), and in 31 health centres (980 nurses) in the Lusaka district constituted the target population. Systematic sampling was used to select a total of 614 participants; only 368 nurses returned completely filled questionnaires. A staff development tool jointly developed with the participants also served as a means of generating data for the study. The quantitative data were analyzed according to the Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS) 11.5 version, using frequencies and percentage distributions. Framework analysis was used to analyze the collected qualitative data. The major findings of the study revealed that nursing staff in the urban district of Lusaka were not using systematic methods based on any known approach in planning staff development activities. Using a learning organization framework, a model of staff development was jointly developed with the participants, as well as a checklist for assessing staff when utilizing the model in a Zambian setting. The study concluded that the developed learning organization model was capable of facilitating the development of culture of lifelong learning among nurses and midwives in Zambia.