An exploration of the presence and enactment of caring in the human resource management of nurses in KwaZulu-Natal hospitals.
The aim of the study was to explore the practice of caring in human resource management of nurses. Both the qualitative and quantitative research approaches were used to ensure that the richness and the complexities of caring is reflected in the study. A qualitative analysis of the interviews vvth nurse managers and nurses indicated that they saw caring as an important part of their task. They saw caring in human resource management of nurses mainly as dealing with the interpersonal aspects- personal problem-solving-, development and growth-, welfare needs-, and HIV/AIDS issues related to nurses. A quantitative survey of nurses from different levels was done to explore the presence and enactment of caring in the formulating strategies, structuring the work, workforce planning, staffing process and in the utilising and maintaining of nurses. It was found, according to respondents that caring was not present to satisfactory levels in the human resource management process of nurses, although caring concepts, as well as Christian principles, were present and clearly described in the mission, philosophies and goals and objectives of the hospitals. The fact that nurse managers are not solely responsible for the experiences of nurses and the way nurses expressed themselves on the caring issues in human resource management in the study should be emphasised. Organisational factors such as salaries and benefits of nurses, shortage of nurses at national and international levels, organisational structures and other financial ccnstrains in hospitals, contribute to the experiences of nurses in this study. Health service administrators, nurse managers and nurses should all take the responsibility to find means to improve and instil caring in hospitals. Therefore the decision to train nurse managers and to upgrade the management knowledge and the implementation of caring concepts in nursing management with relevant care and support to HIV/AIDS nurses, is of the utmost importance to equip nurse managers to survive in these demanding circumstances in the hospitals.