Correctional nursing: a study protocol to develop an educational intervention to optimize nursing practice in a unique context
journal contributionposted on 21.05.2021, 17:10 by Joan Almost, Wendy A Gifford, Diane Doran, Linda Ogilvie, Crystal Miller, Don N Rose, Mae Squires
Background Nurses are the primary healthcare providers in correctional facilities. A solid knowledge and expertise that includes the use of research evidence in clinical decision making is needed to optimize nursing practice and promote positive health outcomes within these settings. The institutional emphasis on custodial care within a heavily secured, regulated, and punitive environment presents unique contextual challenges for nursing practice. Subsequently, correctional nurses are not always able to obtain training or ongoing education that is required for broad scopes of practice. The purpose of the proposed study is to develop an educational intervention for correctional nurses to support the provision of evidence-informed care. Methods A two-phase mixed methods research design will be used. The setting will be three provincial correctional facilities. Phase one will focus on identifying nurses’ scope of practice and practice needs, describing work environment characteristics that support evidence-informed practice and developing the intervention. Semi-structured interviews will be completed with nurses and nurse managers. To facilitate priorities for the intervention, a Delphi process will be used to rank the learning needs identified by participants. Based on findings, an online intervention will be developed. Phase two will involve evaluating the acceptability and feasibility of the intervention to inform a future experimental design. Discussion The context of provincial correctional facilities presents unique challenges for nurses’ provision of care. This study will generate information to address practice and learning needs specific to correctional nurses. Interventions tailored to barriers and supports within specific contexts are important to enable nurses to provide evidence-informed care.