Exploring crucial programme characteristics and group mechanisms of an empowerment programme for certified nursing assistants—A qualitative study

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Abstract

Aims
To identify crucial programme characteristics and group mechanisms of, and lessons learned from hindrances in an empowerment programme for certified nursing assistants and contribute to the development of similar programmes in other care settings.

Design
Exploratory qualitative study.

Methods
Between May 2017 and September 2020, we used in-depth interviews and participant observations to study four groups participating in an empowerment programme for certified nursing assistants (N = 44).

Results
We identified three crucial empowerment-enhancing programme characteristics: (1) inviting participants to move outside their comfort zone of caregiving; (2) stimulating the use of untapped talents, competencies and interests; (3) supporting the rediscovery of participants' occupational role and worth. Crucial group mechanisms encompassed learning from and with each other, as well as mechanisms of self-correction and self-motivation. Hindrances included a perceived lack of direction, and a lack of organizational support and facilitation.

Conclusion
We showed the significance of creating an inviting and stimulating environment in which participants can explore and function in ways they otherwise would not. Likewise, we identified how this can help participants learn from, critically correct and motivate one another.

Impact
The programme under study was uniquely aimed to empower certified nursing assistants. Our insights on crucial programme characteristics and group mechanisms may benefit those who develop empowerment programmes, but also policymakers and managers in supporting certified nursing assistants and other nursing professions in empowerment endeavours. Such empowerment may enhance employee retention and make occupational members more likely to address challenges affecting their occupational group and the long-term care sector.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Certified nursing assistants
  • Empowerment programme
  • Leadership potential
  • Long-term care
  • Nursing
  • Qualitative research
  • Verzorgenden IG

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