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An analysis of policy to practice initiatives in Scotland: what are the key lessons learned?

Shuai, Ziying; Macduff, Colin


Ziying Shuai

Colin Macduff


Aim - The study sought to identify and explain common issues and lessons arising from four national health policy initiatives related to nursing, midwifery and allied health professions (NMAHPs) in Scotland between 2005 and 2010. Background - The Scottish government has been seeking effective practice developments in NMAHPs through enacting policy initiatives to improve patient care. Despite many of these initiatives being individually evaluated, no integrative systematic study has been undertaken to synthesise better understandings. Design - Multiple case study design involving qualitative research was the main methodology. Methods - The study used purposive and snowball sampling and in-depth interviews to elicit the views of 24 stakeholders. Findings - This study enabled identification and explanation of key generic lessons such as internal policy alignment, good leadership and governance at all levels, effective communication, and sustainability linked to policy external alignment. Conclusion and implications for nursing management - Findings highlight the importance of strategy for internal policy alignment involving top-down and cross-sectional cooperation and appraising external policy alignment when progressing a sustainable policy initiative. At all levels, leadership is important to provide clear guidance, manage different expectations and enable understanding of initiatives for enactment. Analysis of such initiatives would be useful in preparing nurse managers.


SHUAI, Z. and MACDUFF, C. 2016. An analysis of policy to practice initiatives in Scotland: what are the key lessons learned? Journal of nursing management [online], 24(6), pages 825-833. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 6, 2016
Online Publication Date May 11, 2016
Publication Date Sep 4, 2016
Deposit Date Apr 20, 2017
Publicly Available Date May 12, 2017
Journal Journal of nursing management
Print ISSN 0966-0429
Electronic ISSN 1365-2834
Publisher Wiley Open Access
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 6
Pages 825-833
Keywords Case study; Framework analysis; Lessons; Nursing and allied health professions; Policy to practice initiatives
Public URL


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