Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2015 May-Jun; 20(3): 387–۳۹۷٫
Nurse-led action research project for expanding nurses’ role in patient education in Iran: Process, structure, and outcomes
Parvaneh Khorasani,1 Maryam Rassouli,1 Soroor Parvizy,2 Mansoureh Zagheri-Tafreshi,3 and Mahmood Nasr-Esfahani4
Patient education is among the lowest met need of patients in Iran; therefore, expansion of that role can result in greater professional accountability. This study aimed to explain the practical science of the process, structure, and outcomes of a nurse-led action research project to expand the nurses’ role in patient education in Iran.
Materials and Methods:
This study was part of a participatory action research. Daily communications and monthly joint meetings were held from January 2012 to February 2014 for planning and management. These were based on the research protocol, and the conceptual framework included the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships process by means of Leadership for Change skills. Data were produced and gathered through participant observations. Administrative data included project records, official documents, artifacts, news, and reports, which were analyzed through qualitative content analysis.
A participatory project was established with three groups of participants organized from both academic and clinical fields. These consisted of a “core research support team,” “two steering committees,” and community representatives of clients and professionals as “feedback groups.” A seven-stage process, named the “Nurse Educators: Al-Zahra Role Expansion Action Research” (NEAREAR) process, resulted from the project, in which strategic issues were gradually developed and implemented through 32 action plans and quality improvement cycles of action research. Audits and supervision evaluations showed meaningful changes in capacity building components.
A nurse-led ad hoc structure with academic–clinical partnerships and strategic management process was suggested as a possible practical model for expanding nurses’ educational role in similar contexts. Implications and practical science introduced in this action research could also be applicable for top managers and health system policy makers in a wider range of practice.
Keywords: Capacity building, Iran, nurses, patient education, professional role