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Nursing Research and Practice
Volume 2011, Article ID 840120, 8 pages
Research Article

Discovering Ways That Influence the Older Nurse to Continue Bedside Practice

1WellStar Health System, 2000 South Park Place Atlanta, Georgia 30339, USA
2WellStar School of Nursing, Kennesaw State University, 1000 Chastain Road, no. 41 Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA
3WellStar Kennestone Hospital, 677 Church Street, Marietta, GA 30060, USA

Received 16 December 2010; Revised 17 February 2011; Accepted 16 March 2011

Academic Editor: Christine Kovner

Copyright © 2011 LeeAnna Spiva et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A descriptive qualitative approach was used to investigate older nurses practicing bedside nursing and to identify ways to influence older nurses to continue bedside practice. A purposive sample of 18 older nurses was recruited from a healthcare system located in the Southeastern United States. Interpretative analysis of interviews resulted in the identification of three constitutive patterns and eight themes. The first constitutive pattern identified was attributes of the older nurse. The themes comprising this pattern were (a) professional growth in confidence and skills through experience and (b) passion and love for nursing. The second constitutive pattern was enduring stress and frustration. The themes comprising this pattern were (a) physical and mental changes associated with aging, (b) increased patient acuity and patient load, (c) constant change, and (d) time constraints. The third constitutive pattern was enhancements needed for older nurses to continue bedside nursing. The themes comprising this pattern were (a) work environment enhancements and (b) organizational relationship enhancements. Findings may provide a better understanding of the older nurse's role in bedside nursing.