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Title: An exploration into what it means to be a qualified adult nurse working in Scotland at the beginning of the 21st century
Author: Howes, Dora Christine
Awarding Body: Glasgow Caledonian University
Current Institution: Glasgow Caledonian University
Date of Award: 2013
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Nursing has experienced transformational change over the last twenty years. One major difference is the shift in nurse preparation from the apprenticeship system to higher education. In response, practice has extended, expanded and in some instances blurred with other healthcare professions, while the focus has moved from cure to prevention and from acute to chronic care. The extent and pace of change has resulted in claims that nursing has 'lost its way'. At the same time, no consensual definition of nursing exists. When considered together, the question of what it means to be a nurse arises; an area that has received little attention. Consequently, the aim of this study was to understand what it means to be a qualified adult nurse working in Scotland at the beginning of the twenty first century. The philosophic hermeneutic of Hans-Georg Gadamer, whose main concern was the possibility of understanding, guided the study. In addition, a Gadamerian-based research method developed by Fleming and her colleagues was applied to enable the development of understanding in accordance with Gadamer's philosophy. A purposive sample of eleven nurses who attended a Mentorship or MSc Advanc@d Nursing-programme at a SGOttish-Universityparticipated in the study. Analysis of their conversations using Gadamer's hermeneutic circle led to the emergence of three overarching themes and an understanding, which suggests that what it means to be a nurse is to 'make a difference' to the lives of others, while having a 'nursing identity' and 'playing the game'. The findings offer a fresh perspective from which to consider how one defines nursing whilst encouraging nurses to think about the impact of their actions and approach to practice. Recommendations for policy, practice and education are given and include the need to address the culture in nursing, as it has a significant impact on what it means to be a nurse and the ability to make a difference.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available