Nurses learning in the workplace: A comparison of workplace attributes in acute care settings in Australia and Singapore

S. W. Chan, M. F. Chan, S. Y. Lee, A. Henderson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Workplaces need to foster teaching and learning interactions so staff collaborate and learn from each other. Internationally, many countries provide support to graduates and experienced staff to foster engagement necessary for learning and quality care. Workplace attributes can differ across countries depending on managerial, contextual, social and policy issues. Aim: This study compared workplace attributes of two Australian hospitals with a Singaporean hospital. Methods: A representative sample of nurses in two acute care facilities in Australia (n=203) and a comparable facility in Singapore (n=154) during 2010 and 2011 responded to a survey requesting demographic data and responses about workplace attributes. Attributes were determined through validated tools that measure staff perception of support when facilitating others learning (Support Instrument for Nurses Facilitating the Learning of Others) and the clinical learning organizational culture (Clinical Learning Organizational Culture Survey). Results: Results indicated Singaporean nurses rated perception of acknowledgement, workload management and teamwork support in facilitating learners in their hospital as significantly better than the Australian cohort despite similar provisions for support and development. There were no significant differences across the two sites in the clinical learning culture. Limitations: Analysis across three health facilities only provides a snapshot. Targeting more facilities would assist in confirming the extent of reported trends. Conclusions: Findings indicate differences in nurses' perceptions of support when facilitating learners. Further exploration of Singaporean nurses' increased perceptions of support is worthy. Clinical learning organizational culture findings across Australian and Singaporean acute care facilities suggest common attributes within the nursing profession that transcend contextual factors, for example, a strong sense of task accomplishment. Implications for nursing and health policy: Nurses across both countries demonstrate strengths in accomplishing tasks but less so in recognizing nurses' contributions that may also impact nurses' influence in the practice context. As these attributes are common, nursing can collectively lobby and develop policy, thereby strengthening their cause to be recognized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-89
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Nursing Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical
  • Context
  • Culture
  • Learning
  • Nursing
  • Organizational Culture
  • Workplace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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