This research explored ward nurses’ views about the characteristics of effective nurse leaders in the context of Iraq as a developing country, where the delivery of health care continues to face disruption and change. It is well established that the provision of modern health care requires effective nurse leaders, but in countries such as Iraq the lack of effective nurse leaders is noted as a major challenge. In a descriptive quantitative study, a survey questionnaire was administered to 210 ward nurses working in two public hospitals in a major city in the north of Iraq. The participating nurses were of the opinion that the effectiveness of their nurse leaders was evident in their ability to demonstrate: good clinical knowledge, effective communication and managerial skills. They also viewed their leaders as needing to hold high-level nursing qualifications, though this was not necessarily the case in practice. Additionally, they viewed nurse leaders’ personal qualities as important, which included politeness, ethical behaviour, and trustworthiness. When considered against the issues raised in interviews with a smaller group (20) of senior nurse leaders, representative of the various occupational levels, implications identify the need for professional development that focuses on how the underpinning competencies relate to leadership and how transformational leadership is evidenced in practice.
The proliferation in the development of mobile learning (m-learning) has played a vital role in the rapidly growing electronic learning market. This relatively new technology can help to encourage the development of in learning and to aid knowledge transfer a number of areas, by familiarizing students with innovative information and communications technologies (ICT). M-learning plays a substantial role in the deployment of learning methods for nursing students by using the Internet and portable devices to access learning resources ‘anytime and anywhere’. However, acceptance of m-learning by students is critical to the successful use of m-learning systems. Thus, there is a need to study the factors that influence student’s intention to use m-learning. This paper addresses this issue. It outlines the outcomes of a study that evaluates the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) model as applied to the subject of user acceptance in relation to m-learning activity in nurse education. The model integrates the significant components across eight prominent user acceptance models. Therefore, a standard measure is introduced with core determinants of user behavioural intention. The research model extends the UTAUT in the context of m-learning acceptance by modifying and adding individual innovativeness (II) and quality of service (QoS) to the original structure of UTAUT. The paper goes on to add the factors of previous experience (of using mobile devices in similar applications) and the nursing students’ readiness (to use the technology) to influence their behavioural intentions to use m-learning. This study uses a technique called ‘convenience sampling’ which involves student volunteers as participants in order to collect numerical data. A quantitative method of data collection was selected and involves an online survey using a questionnaire form. This form contains 33 questions to measure the six constructs, using a 5-point Likert scale. A total of 42 respondents participated, all from the Nursing Institute at the Armed Forces Hospital in Saudi Arabia. The gathered data were then tested using a research model that employs the structural equation modelling (SEM), including confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The results of the CFA show that the UTAUT model has the ability to predict student behavioural intention and to adapt m-learning activity to the specific learning activities. It also demonstrates satisfactory, dependable and valid scales of the model constructs. This suggests further analysis to confirm the model as a valuable instrument in order to evaluate the user acceptance of m-learning activity.
Introduction: Student nurses must develop skills in observation, communication and reflection as well as public health knowledge from their first year of training. This paper will explain a method developed for students to collect their own findings about public health in urban areas. These areas are both rich in the history of old public health that informs the content of many traditional public health walks, but are also locations where new public health concerns about chronic disease are concentrated. The learning method explained in this paper enables students to collect their own data and write original work as first year students. Examples of their findings will be given. Methodology: In small groups, health care students are instructed to walk in neighbourhoods near to the hospitals they will soon attend as apprentice nurses. On their walks, they wander slowly, engage in conversations, and enter places open to the public. As they drift, they observe with all five senses in the real three dimensional world to collect data for their reflective accounts of old and new public health. They are encouraged to stop for refreshments and taste, as well as look, hear, smell, and touch while on their walk. They reflect as a group and later develop an individual reflective account in which they write up their deep reflections about what they observed on their walk. In preparation for their walk, they are encouraged to look at studies of quality of Life and other neighbourhood statistics as well as undertaking a risk assessment for their walk. Findings: Reflecting on their walks, students apply theoretical concepts around social determinants of health and health inequalities to develop their understanding of communities in the neighbourhoods visited. They write about the treasured historical architecture made of stone, bronze and marble which have outlived those who built them; but also how the streets are used now. The students develop their observations into thematic analyses such as: what we drink as illustrated by the empty coke can tossed into a now disused drinking fountain; the shift in home-life balance illustrated by streets where families once lived over the shop which are now walked by commuters weaving around each other as they talk on their mobile phones; and security on the street, with CCTV cameras placed at regular intervals, signs warning trespasses and barbed wire; but little evidence of local people watching the street. Conclusion: In evaluations of their first year, students have reported the health walk as one of their best experiences. The innovative approach was commended by the UK governing body of nurse education and it received a quality award from the nurse education funding body. This approach to education allows students to develop skills in the real world and write original work.