The intellectual capital supporting nurse practice in a post-emergency state: A case study

Laura Jean Ridge, Erica Jean Liebermann, Amy Witkoski Stimpfel, Robin Toft Klar, Victoria Vaughan Dickson, Allison Patricia Squires

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To explore the resources supporting current nurse practice in the post-emergency country of Liberia, using the nursing intellectual capital framework, as nurses work to meet the targets set by Government of Liberia's Essential Package of Health Services. Design: Case study. Methods: Data were collected in Liberia February–June 2019. Direct observation, semi-structured interviews and photographs were used to investigate how nurse practice is supported. Field notes, transcripts and photographs were coded using both directed and conventional content analysis. Reports were then generated by code to triangulate the data. Results: Thirty-seven nurses at 12 health facilities participated. The intellectual capital supporting inpatient and outpatient nurse practice differs in important ways. Inpatient nurse practice is more likely to be supported by facility-based protocols and trainings, whereas outpatient nurse practice is more likely to be supported by external protocols and trainings, often developed by the Liberian government or non-governmental organizations. This can lead to uneven provision of inpatient protocols and trainings, often favouring private facilities. Similarly, inpatient nurses rely primarily on other nurses at their facilities for clinical support while outpatient nurses often have external professional relationships that provided them with clinical guidance. Conclusion: Much has been accomplished to enable outpatient nurses to provide the primary- and secondary-care target services in the Essential Package of Health Services. However, as the Liberian government and its partners continue to work towards providing certain tertiary care services, developing analogous protocols, trainings and clinical mentorship networks for inpatient nurses will likely be fruitful, and will decrease the burden on individual facilities. Impact: Nurses are often expected to meet new service provision targets in post-emergency states. Further research into how best to support nurses as they work to meet those targets has the potential to strengthen health systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3000-3011
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • case study research
  • clinical guidelines
  • health services research
  • international health
  • nurse education
  • nursing models
  • nursing theory
  • occupational health
  • workforce issues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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