|dc.description.abstract||Introduction: Nurse practitioners in South Africa are challenged daily to provide
comprehensive care under resource constrained conditions while at the same time trying to cope
with the changes and care strategies related to HIV/Aids. The use of critical reflection within a
shared learning space fostered by Communities of Practice is a plausible strategy to support
ongoing meaningful learning that can support nurse practitioners to deal with the challenges
related to the dynamic nature of HIV/Aids.
Aim of the Study: This study aimed to analyze the processes of developing critical reflective
skills and establishing Communities of Practice among a sample of nurse practitioners working
in the field of HIV/Aids and to develop a middle range theory which explains the process of
establishing Communities of Practice (CoP) among HIV/Aids nurse practitioners grounded in
Methodology: Using a qualitative approach, a grounded theory design guided by Strauss and
Corbin (1990) was used. Two district level hospitals from the province of KwaZulu-Natal, was
sampled, within which a group of nurse practitioners working in the discipline of maternal and
child health was sampled. Data collection was progressive over a period of seven months. The
use of focus group discussion, in-depth individual interviews, reflective journals and researcher
observation was used to elicit the data. Concurrent with data collection, open axial and selective
coding was used to make sense of the data.
Results: The results of this study revealed that there are a number of causal conditions which
relates to the need for establishing a CoP and that the process of establishing a CoP requires
engagement with the relevant stakeholders and members of the group. Three phases
characterized the process of participants becoming critically reflective and a fully functional
CoP. The concept of a CoP for HIV/Aids nurse practitioners is made up of core characteristics
namely that it is an organic practice space, it promotes flexibility in learning, it is a support
network where collaborative purpose driven working occurs and that it promotes learning on
demand to name a few. There were also a number of intervening conditions which influenced the
process of establishing the CoP and the findings of this study led to the emergence of a middle
range theory which is both process and outcomes focused. This theory and its related model,
demonstrates that establishing a CoP for HIV/Aids nurse practitioners occurs within a context
and is made up of six major concepts namely (i) Context; (ii) Group Formation; (iii) CoP
Establishment Process; (iv) Fully Functional CoP; (v) Outcomes; (vi) Sustainability and
Continuity, and several sub-concepts.
Conclusion and Recommendation: The recommendations of this study were classified into
areas of practice, education and research, with regard to the usability of this theory in
encouraging a transformed way of nursing aimed at improving nursing practice. In summary, this
research lends insight into the complex challenges of nursing in a dynamic context of HIV/Aids.
It further demonstrated that one of the overall outcomes was engagement in evidence informed
practice and knowledge stewarding in HIV/Aids knowledge generation.
Keywords: Communities of Practice (CoP); HIV/Aids Nurse Practitioners; Critical Reflection;
Transformation; Knowledge Generation; Process; Outcomes.||en_US