Reflections on Distributive Leadership for Work-Based Mobile Learning of Canadian Registered Nurses

Reflections on Distributive Leadership for Work-Based Mobile Learning of Canadian Registered Nurses

Dorothy (Willy) Fahlman (Athabasca University, Alberta, Canada)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/IJMBL.2017070101
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Abstract

The ubiquity, flexibility, and accessibility of mobile devices can transform how registered nurses in Canada learn beyond the confines of traditional education/training boundaries in their work settings. Many Canadian registered nurses have actively embraced mobile technologies for their work-based learning to meet their competency requirements for professional nursing practice. As self-directed learners, they are using these learning tools at point-of-need to access rich online healthcare resources, collaborate, and share information within their communities of practices. Yet, paradoxically, there are Canadian healthcare organizations that have not embraced work-based mobile learning and their contextual factors constrain and/or impede registered nurses' learning. Therefore, the goal of this reflective paper is to stimulate discussion on distributive leadership strategies for embedding this pedagogical mode of learning into Canadian healthcare workplaces for registered nurses' ongoing skills and continuing professional development.
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Canadian Healthcare System

In the global marketplace, increasing demands for services and rising costs that are closely associated with rapid advances in information and communication technologies, aging populations, and sociocultural issues are challenging healthcare systems to deliver quality care. The Canadian healthcare system is not immune to these demands; yet, it has been slow to adopt innovative technologies, processes, and procedures resulting in growing cost pressures (Snowdon, Armstrong, Scarffe, & Smith, 2015).

In Canada, there is no single, national health system. Rather, its diffuse and decentralized comprised of 14 single-payer, universal, and public systems (ten provinces, three northern territories, and the federal government) employing more than 1.5 million regulated and unregulated healthcare providers (Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, 2014). Registered nurses and physicians combined represent approximately half of the Canadian paid healthcare workforce (Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, 2014). On the agendas of Canadian healthcare employers are workplace practices that improve recruitment and retention, health and well being, quality of patient care and safety, organizational performance, and societal outcomes (Shamian & El-Jardali, 2007). Consequently, there is a necessity for ongoing skills and professional development that emphasizes human capital for increased talent and expertise (Fahlman, 2012a).

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