The impact of nursing innovations in the context of governance and incentives.

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This discursive paper is a structured analysis of four completed national and regional studies carried out in the UK. It sets out retrospectively to explore the impact of key contextual, professional and personal features and mechanisms on innovation and outcomes in nursing and the extent to which these are common or diverge across the studies (cases). As successive governments across the world turn their attention to developing nursing as a means of increasing productivity and effectiveness in health care, there is a need for evidence to inform workforce policy and planning about the circumstances that enable positive levers and mechanisms, which influence outcomes to operate. This analysis takes advantage of recent conceptual work on organisational governance and incentives by asking new questions of established data to illuminate our understanding of the pathway to innovation in nursing. Data from the four evaluations (cases) were aggregated and explored thematically within Davies et al.’s framework (Studying health care organisations – links between governance, incentives and outcomes: a review of the literature. Report for the National Co-ordinating Centre for NHS Service Delivery and Organisation R&D (NCCSDO)., 2005) of governance, incentives and outcomes. The themes were grouped into three categories: contextual, professional and personal, and interrogated by inter-researcher scrutiny. Taking account of the limitations of comparing studies carried out for different purposes and in different policy circumstances, there are compelling messages emerging about the organisational support, professional leadership and factors that motivate change and innovation in nursing. The analysis suggests that separating governance from incentives oversimplifies what is a complex interplay between organisational governance and the professional and personal enabling factors supporting innovation. The nature of these relationships deserves further study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-294
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Research in Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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