An exploration of the impact of a mandatory quality assurance program on the staff nurse's commitment to professional development /
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This study explored experiences in relation to the impact of the College of Nurses of Ontario's (CNO's) mandatory Quality Assurance (QA) program on registered nurses (RNs) working in a clinical setting of an acute care hospital. A qualitative descriptive research design was used and data collection was done in 2 stages. First, a survey with open-ended questions was given to 45 nurses. Second, 8 respondents from the survey were interviewed using a semistructured format. Data were obtained from 2 groups-diploma-prepared and post diploma-prepared RNs. Findings demonstrated that the CNO's QA program had varying influences on the RNs' learning paths, and these differences appeared to be related to the educational background of the individual. The diploma-prepared nurses reported that their commitment to professional development was influenced by their level of internal motivation, the pressures associated with time, and the need for a strong external motivator, namely the obligation of management to conduct formal performance appraisals. They further reported that the QA program played a part in positively altering their commitment to continuing education. The post-diploma baccalaureate nurses reported that the QA program played a positive role in influencing their ongoing learning, along with their level of internal motivation, the work and health care environment, and the element of professionalism. Several implications for nursing practice, theory, and fiirther research also became evident.