Title of ArticleImplementing a vision of person-centredness across a new university hospital in Denmark
Type of ArticleIdeas and Influences
Author/sBibi Hølge-Hazelton, Thora Grothe Thomsen, Mette Kjerholt and Elizabeth Rosted
ReferenceVolume 11, Issue 1, Article 13
Date of PublicationMay 2021
KeywordsCapacity building, practice development, person-centred strategy, nursing research culture

The experience of a collaborative process to build a research and development culture at a new university hospital underlined that the Person-centred Practice Framework (McCance and McCormack, 2017) forms a solid and valuable foundation for ongoing work. The fact that the process has involved researchers, leaders at different levels, clinical nurse specialists and other healthcare professionals makes the framework’s focus on the whole care environment especially relevant.

How work towards a nursing research culture developed into a person-centred strategy

In 2010, the management at our hospital in Denmark established a director of nursing research position, with a remit to create, develop and support a research culture within the nursing and allied health professions. No guidance was offered on how this should be done and as a consequence the ideas and professional profile of the person hired were highly influential (Hølge-Hazelton, 2019). Having a solid background in action research and studies of vocational and professional education, the new director launched a collaborative process to identify the desired characteristics of the research culture. Those contributing included the networks of clinical development nurses and head nurses, and the executive director of nursing. The proposed vision that emerged was: Our research culture should be constructive, creative, inclusive and visible at all levels of the hospital.

This vision was discussed and agreed among all head nurses at the hospital. The idea was that the culture should be everybody’s business and include all levels of nursing, and furthermore that these levels would be interdependent and dynamic. The strategy to achieve this was defined as ‘bottom up, top down and don’t forget the middle’, to signal that research and development are closely related and that they should be participatory, based on a broad understanding of evidence (Rycroft-Malone, 2010), clinically relevant, and supported by the hospital’s leadership. Within the first years of work towards realising the vision, two more nursing researchers were hired in clinical departments at the hospital. They also had a background in personal and organisational learning processes, organisational development and action research. Their task was to support the realisation of the strategy at departmental and unit level.

In this section