The journey from neophyte to registered nurse : a Dutch experience
Case studies of five Dutch undergraduate students form the initial focus of this longitudinal study. An ethno-methodological approach was utilised to provide insight into how student nurses made sense of their social and personal reality and dealt with situations and challenges encountered during the four-year programme leading to registration as a degreenurse. The case studies are further examined within a meta-case study -this being the auto-ethnographic context of the researcher's role as a nurse, an educator and a researcher.The study highlights the interface between sociology and education, and between power and authority, discussing the student journey in terms of Parsonian and confluent educational frameworks. The research findings also highlight student awareness in dealing with the challenges of practice and indicate that students are proactive, and use preconceived strategies to negotiate their way through their placements successfully. Specifically a student, who dropped out of the programme, is the subject of a 'deviant' case study; her experience provides an interesting backdrop to the students who completed the programme. The researcher analyses and discusses the concept of 'deviance', questioning the appropriateness of this terminology. The study provides some insights into the original research questions regarding student motivation on entering nursing; the developmentof a 'caring philosophy, the internalisation of professional values and the ability to integrate theory and practice. In addition the richness of the researcher/student interaction adds an extra dimension to the existing body of knowledge. This narrative account invites the reader to follow the researcher's thoughts and decision-making whilst it simultaneously challenges the reader to confront their personalhistory and beliefs.