Exploration of Swedish Nurses' Perception of Nursing in Sweden
Carlson, Kailee E.
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Session presented on Saturday, July 25, 2015: Purpose: According to the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, there is a shortage of nurses in Sweden. The number of patients assigned to each nurse has increased due to the shortage. Studies have noted that the increased patient load has impacted Swedish nurses ability to spend quality time with each patient. The purpose of this study was to explore Swedish nurses' perception of nursing in Sweden. Methods: van Manen's phenomenological approach was used as a design for the basis of this study. Following IRB approval, narrative data was collected by interviewing eight Swedish nurses. The eight Swedish nurse participants were actively working in acute care settings in an urban town on the western side of Sweden where the nurse shortage is felt the most. The eight Swedish nurses were chosen due to their ability to articulate in English their perceptions of nursing in Sweden and their willingness to take the time to be interviewed. All data were transcribed and van Manen's approach to analysis was followed. Results: Data analysis indicated that Swedish nurses perceived their nursing positions as important and personally satisfying. They felt that they had more autonomy in Sweden than in other countries, including the USA. They described respectful equality in communication with other health team members including the physicians, unless the doctors were older and fixed in their past ways of thinking about the nurse. The participants interviewed were content in their present position in working with patients. All of the participants had worked in their present position and hospital unit for several years. Although every participant noted their salaries were lower than what nurses elsewhere were earning, all participants noted that the working relationship with patients and staff were worth more than money. Conclusion: This study provides support for the Institute of Medicine's 2010 Report regarding the importance of good communication and collaboration among health team members to enhance patient safety and a positive working relationship with each other. It also provides evidence that the quality of the nurse-patient relationship leads to job satisfaction and that more research is needed in this area.