To explore the perceptions of nursing professionals regarding facilitators and barriers to the implementation of expanded nursing functions in a state in central Mexico.
Qualitative descriptive phenomenological study. During 2022, 18 semi-structured interviews were conducted with three types of informants: a) head nurses at state-level facilities; b) head nurses at local-level facilities; and c) heads of health units and operational nursing staff who have direct contact with patients.
The following facilitators were identified: willingness to adopt the strategy (seen as favorable by managers and acceptable by nursing staff); reorganization of functions (simplification of processes and analysis of the situation of health units); access to training; and characteristics of nursing staff (professionalization, work experience, and favorable attitude). Barriers included: conditions at the first level of care (personnel shortages, too many administrative activities, lack of physical space, materials, supplies, and consumables), resistance to change (professional jealousy of other disciplines and duplication of tasks), staff salaries, lack of training, not trusted with expanded duties, and attitude of patients (resistance to nursing care).
By understanding the perceptions of nursing professionals, we can identify key elements for the successful expansion of nursing functions through expansion of the competencies of operational staff. Reorganization and proper management at different levels of decision-making will be necessary.