Impact of a learning circle intervention across academic and service contexts on developing a learning culture
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Partnerships between university schools of nursing and health services lead to successful learning experiences for students and staff. A purposive sample of academics and students from a university school of nursing and clinicians from three health institutions involved in clinical learning (n = 73) actively participated in a learning circles intervention conducted over 5 months in south east Queensland. Learning circle discussions resulted in enhanced communication and shared understanding regarding: (1) staff attitudes towards students, expectations and student assessment; (2) strategies enhancing preparation of students, mechanisms for greater support of and recognition of clinicians; (3) challenges faced by staff in the complex processes of leadership in clinical nursing education; (4) construction of learning, ideas for improving communication, networking and sharing; and (5) questioning routine practices that may not enhance student learning. Pre-post surveys of hospital staff (n = 310) revealed significant differences across three sub-scales of 'accomplishment' (t = -3.98, p < .001), 'recognition' (t = -2.22, p < .027) and 'influence' (t = -11.82, p < .001) but not 'affiliation'. Learning circles can positively enhance organisational learning culture. The intervention enabled participants to recognise mutual goals. Further investigation around staff perception of their influence on their workplace is required.
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