What about learning? A study of temporary agency staffing and learning conditions in Swedish health care

Document identifier: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-77989
Access full text here:10.1108/JWL-06-2018-0083
Keyword: Medical and Health Sciences, Maskinteknik, Arbetsvetenskap, Temporary agency staffing, Organisation of work, Nurses, Workplace learning, Social relations, Produktionsteknik, arbetsvetenskap och ergonomi, Teknik och teknologier, Health Sciences, Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics, Mechanical Engineering, Engineering and Technology, Omvårdnad, Hälsovetenskaper, Medicin och hälsovetenskap, Nursing, Human Work Sciences
Publication year: 2020
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 3 Good health and wellbeing
The SDG label(s) above have been assigned by OSDG.ai



The purpose of this paper is to discuss conditions for workplace learning (WPL) in relation to temporary agency staffing (TAS), focusing on temporary and regular nurses’ experiences of social relations.


Data were gathered using qualitative semi-structured interviews with five agency nurses and five regular nurses. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.


Similarities and differences regarding conditions for WPL among “temps” and “regulars” emerged, pointing towards both challenges and opportunities for WPL on various levels. Moreover, although challenges stood out, the context of professional work provides certain opportunities for WPL through, for example, knowledge sharing among nurses.

Research limitations/implications

Results are valid for the interviewees’ experiences of WPL conditions. However, the findings may also have currency in other but similar workplaces and employment circumstances.

Practical implications

Client organisations and temporary work agencies could benefit from developing management and HR strategies aimed at strengthening the opportunities for WPL, related to professional work, to ensure that these opportunities are leveraged fully.


This study adopts a WPL perspective on TAS in the context of professional work, which is still rare.


Anna Berg Jansson

Luleå tekniska universitet; Människa och teknik
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Åsa Engström

Luleå tekniska universitet; Omvårdnad och medicinsk teknik
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Karolina Parding

Luleå tekniska universitet; Människa och teknik
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