The socialisation of student nurses : the 'peri-entry' approach to the socialisation trajectory : a four-study examination of the pre- and post-entry socialisation experiences of new entrants into nurse education
This thesis examines the socialisation trajectory experienced by new entrants into nurse education. Specifically, it presents for consideration, the 'peri-entry' approach to the socialisation process. The 'peri-entry' approach is so called because it concentrates, both on the period prior to commencement, and after commencement. The approach covers three phases, the pre-entry phase, the entry/encounter phase, and the post-entry phase. The approach consists of four conceptual components, and these are located in its conceptual framework in the three phases. These conceptual components are; the pre-entry expectation formation phenomenon, Reality Shock, changing images of nursing, and changes in the individual's 'nursing' self-concept. The 'peri-entry' approach suggests that consideration be given to the possibility that reported changes in attitude and emotional states following entry may be due to expectations about the course, formed in the pre-entry period, not being matched by post entry experiences. These post-entry changes, the 'peri-entry' approach suggests, appear to occur in the dimensions of the four conceptual components. In order to examine the likelihood of this, the four dimensions of the approach are examined empirically by four studies, within the practitioner research philosophy. Each of the studies gave some measured support for the propositions made by the 'peri-entry' approach. Students did appear to hold inappropriate expectations on entry, there was evidence of Reality Shock, their images of nursing did become more negative, and their 'nursing' self-concept did grow progressively more positive. iii Recommendations were made as to the most appropriate ways to minimise any negative attitudes towards nursing, and nurse education, that students may develop. Also, suggestions for further research into socialisation in nurse education were made. These further studies, it is anticipated, may identify further possible aspects of socialisation that may also impinge on the educational lives of the students who choose to enter nursing as a career.