Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The practice of nursing : an investigation of professional nursing from the perspective of the virtue ethics of Alastair MacIntyre
Author: Wainwright, P. J.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1997
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis investigates professional nursing as a practice. Starting from a recognition that nurses have for some time been under pressure to explain their contribution to health care and how it may be differentiated from other health care occupations, it takes as its initial premise the belief that nursing is more than just the skilled performance of a range of tasks. From a consideration of general, colloquial use it would seem that 'to nurse' is to support, protect, preserve and nurture it, and this requires a commitment on the part of the one nursing, an investment of self for the well-being of the object of nursing. A review of the nursing literature suggests that such an understanding is not to be found in the literature of theories and models of nursing, and that much of that literature fails to give a coherent account of nursing. A theme in much of the nursing literature is the importance of the concepts of care and caring, although accounts of the relationship between nursing and caring are problematic. The thesis shows that, while most uses of the concept of care are morally neutral, to refer to someone as a caring person is to ascribe a moral virtue, and this leads to a more detailed consideration of virtue ethics as a perspective from which to understand nursing. In particular the work of MacIntyre is considered, and it is shown that professional nursing can be understood as a practice, in the particular sense that MacIntyre uses that term. However an examination of what is required in a society for a practice to flourish suggests that many features of the organisation and management of health care in recent years have made it increasingly difficult for professional nursing, understood as a practice, to survive.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available