Rhonda McKelvie

School of Nursing
College of Health


Thesis Title
Where we are and how we got here: An institutional ethnography of the Nurse Safe Staffing Project in New Zealand

Research Description
The research seeks to contribute to knowledge about why nurse safe staffing remains unresolved in NZ and elsewhere. To understand why this is I am talking with nurses at the bedside because they are who nurse safe strategies aim to benefit most (along with patients). I am also talking with people who implement safe staffing at the DHB level, and people who design safe staffing strategies. I am then mapping the work of all of these people, the relationships between their work and the context in which this work is taking place (the health sector environment). Results so far indicate clinical complexity, social and political complicators and competing tensions between professional values and management based practices in hospitals and wards. The outcomes of the research will be empirical descriptions of what is actually happening for people in their everyday work on safe staffing, as well as recommendations about how existing safe staffing strategies might be improved, and/or new ones developed.

Research Importance
This research is particularly important to bedside nurses in NZ (and elsewhere) because it examines the social and political environment of health and how this affects nurse safe staffing.

Research Benefit
Stakeholders invested in nurse safe staffing - this includes bedside nurses and nurses in other roles across the health sector who are engaged in designing and implementing nurse safe staffing strategies.

Personal Description
I live in the Bay of Plenty and I am doing my PhD as a distance student I chose Massey because I achieved my master's at Massey, and in order to secure supervisors with expertise relevant to my topic. Once my PhD project is finished I would like to continue to work on patient safety and nurse staffing.

Professor Jenny Carryer
Dr Janet Rankin
Dr Kerri-Ann Hughes

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