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The Habitus of Nursing – different by degree? A critical analysis of the discourses surrounding an all graduate nursing profession in the UK

Hayes, Sally A (2013) The Habitus of Nursing – different by degree? A critical analysis of the discourses surrounding an all graduate nursing profession in the UK. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales.

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In 2009 the decision was made that from 2013 the only route onto the UK Nursing register would be through graduate programmes. This research problematises this decision, explores the discourses surrounding it and primarily questions whether the new standards for nurse education are a form of social (re) engineering? To do this it draws on both the conceptual tools of Pierre Bourdieu (field of practice, habitus and capital) (Bourdieu 1990) and on his three distinct levels of inquiry; the position of the field within other fields; mapping the objective structure of relations between positions occupied by those who occupy ‘legitimate’ forms of specific authority in the field; and by exploring the habitus of the agents. This is achieved by applying a layered approach of critical discourse analysis, to the examination of policy and professional text and to the stories of nurses as accessed through the use of online methodologies. The data reveals a picture of nurses engaged in definitional struggles influenced from both within and outside of the profession. Nursing and nurses are both surrounded by and contributing to complex, and on occasion, conflicting discourses. Nurses’ experiences are located between their affiliations to both externally declared expectations of quality and changing role, and their understood position as bedside carers, with graduate status perceived as educating nurses away from the bedside as the nature of what is good (authentic) nursing practice changes. The thesis concludes by recognising its place as further contribution to the discourses surrounding the move to an all graduate nursing profession and makes three recommendations: investment in an academic nursing community; a call for nursing to become a politically active/ effective profession; and action to counter the perception that the graduate nursing standards are creating a profession of uncaring and dispassionate nurses.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Keywords: Nursing Graduate Critical Discourse Analysis Habitus
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.568156
Depositing User: Dr Sally A Hayes
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2013 16:09
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2016 14:11
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3803

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