The reality of practice development for nurses working in an inpatient service for people with severe and enduring mental health problems

Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
A Carradice, D Round


Nursing practice development is a growing priority for the British National Health Service. However, the nature of practice development remains poorly articulated. Despite the growing number of papers on practice development in nursing, there is insufficient guidance in the literature for the practical day-to-day management of the role, particularly in the inpatient environment. This paper explores the tensions experienced by practitioners engaged in practice development within a service for people mainly with a diagnosis of psychosis. The entrenched culture of the environment is described, which was resistant to change therefore did not easily embrace practice development. Within such a culture it is important to balance effective management with team development and support. Although this balance is essential for positive change, it is the maintenance of the balance that often leads to the tensions experienced by practice development practitioners. The paper describes numerous tensions including the competing agendas, influencing 'hearts and minds' rather than forcing change and working where people are at. Each tension is explored alongside possible survival strategies. The material presented aims to be realistic and althoug...Continue Reading


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