Learning in the workplace: The role of nurse managers

Margaret Yen, Franziska Trede, Carmel Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This research explores Nurse Managers’ (NMs’) influence on workplace learning. The facilitation of staff learning has implications for the role of NMs, who are responsible for the quality and safety of patient care. However, this aspect of their work is implicit and there is limited research in the area.
Methods: This paper discusses the findings from one hospital as part of a broader philosophical hermeneutic study conducted in two public hospitals over a 20-month timeframe. NMs participated in interviews, a period of observation, follow-up interviews and a focus group. Transcribed data was thematically analysed. Eraut’s ‘Two triangle theory of workplace learning’ was used to interpret participants’ accounts of how they facilitated workplace learning.
Findings: The analysis found that NMs worked to positively influence staff performance through learning in three domains: orientating new staff, assessing staff performance and managing underperformance.
Conclusions: This study purports that NMs influence workplace learning in ways that are seldom recognised. A more conscious understanding of the impact of their role can enable NMs to more purposefully influence workplace learning. Such understanding also has implications for the professional preparation of NMs for their role in the context of workplace learning, facilitating learning for change and enabling the advancement of quality and safety in healthcare.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-291
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Health Review
Issue number3
Early online date2015
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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