Iranian senior nursing managers’ experiences and understanding of social capital in the nursing profession
Lolaty, Hamideh Azimi
Arbon, Paul Andrew
Shorofi, Seyed Afshin
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Background: This study aimed to explore the role of social capital within the context of the nursing profession in Iran, based on the experience and perspectives of senior nursing managers. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted using the Graneheim and Lundman content analysis method. Using purposive sampling, 26 senior nursing managers from the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, the College of Nursing and Midwifery, the Iranian Nursing Organization, nursing associations and hospitals were selected, who participated in semi-structured in-depth interviews. Results: Content analysis revealed three main themes (social capital deficit, applying multiple strategies, and cultivating social capital) as well as eight categories which included professional remoteness, deficiency in professional potency, deficiency in professional exchanges, accumulation of personal social capital, accumulation of professional social capital, socio-political strategies, psychological–cognitive strategies, and ethical/spiritual strategies. The results show the perceived level of social capital in nursing in Iran, the application of some key strategies, and the principal rewards accrued from active participation in improving the social capital in nursing environment and profession. Conclusions: Efforts should be made to strengthen the social capital and apply key strategies with the aim of achieving personal and professional benefits for nurses, their patients, and co-workers, and for the delivery of healthcare in general. In this respect, the role of senior managers is vital in stimulating collective action within the profession, planning for the development of a culture of participation in healthcare services, helping to develop all fields of the profession, and developing and strengthening intra- and inter-professional exchanges and networking.