Comparing women Registered Nurses perceptions and experiences of Personal and Professional development (PPD) in South Africa and the United Kingdom
BACKGROUND: Personal and Professional Development (PPD) is a global requirement for Registered Nurses (RNs) to be able to continue to practice following initial qualification. Women RNs face challenges in career progression and may experience issues particular to women and women’s roles in undertaking PPD. Literature suggests that there are many different elements and factors associated with and influencing PPD both directly and indirectly and that women face gender related issues and challenges undertaking PPD. An understanding of women RNs perceptions and experiences of PPD from two different countries would enable both similarities and differences in experiences to be explored. AIM: To compare women Registered Nurses’ perceptions and experiences of PPD in South Africa (SA) the United Kingdom (UK). Design: A constructivist grounded theory approach was taken. Knowledge is generated from the data, participants and the researcher are both involved in constructing the knowledge. The researcher undertaking a reflexive approach (Charmaz, 2006). Sample: The sample comprised 39 RN’s at different stages of their nursing careers and their ages ranged from 25-62 years old. RNs from two universities in the UK (one in the North West of England and one in Scotland) and from two universities from the Western Cape Province in South Africa took part. Data collection: Data was collected between September 2013 and April 2014. Ethical approval was obtained from universities at which participants were currently studying or had recently completed studies. Data collection involved interviews and demographic details forms. Qualitative data analysis was undertaken using constant comparative method. Comparing Registered Nurses’ Perceptions and Experiences of Personal and Professional Development. FINDINGS: This study attempted to unravel the complexity of women RNs’ perceptions and experiences of PPD. It revealed the constraints and barriers placed on women RNs, inside and outside of the work environment that impacted on their PPD journeys. Revealing patterns of women’s PPD in relation to their experiences, perceptions, approach, strategies and aspirations and what women themselves perceived as the benefits and rewards of PPD. One core and three main themes evolved from the categories derived from the Constructivist Grounded Theory (CGT). The core theme was ‘Women’s perceptions, experiences, and the rewards of personal and professional development’. The three main themes were: engagement, aspirations and circumstances that can influence and/or limit PPD; the hidden costs of PPD; Women’s PPD journeys. Similarities and differences between each country were identified and highlighted in the presentation of the findings. Implications of these findings resulted in recommendations made for future policy, education, practice and research. The results included the emerging PPD Model that can be used to interpret the way in which we think globally about PPD for women RNs. Such knowledge of the constraints and barriers and to how women tackled them may pave the way to reduce and create better ways of working to enable all RN’s to have opportunities to undertake PPD activities and to achieve their full potential.