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Title: Which degree? : the influence of perceptions of professional nursing issues and professionalism on course selection
Author: Wells, John Charles Arthur
ISNI:       0000 0001 3565 7748
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 1999
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The research investigated nurses' choice of post-registration degree at a particular institution of higher education in order to address the unexpected popularity of the BSc in Health Studies. In particular, it sought to examine choice of degree against the background of changes in professionalism. The literature review covered the development of nursing and nursing education, professionalism, professionalisation, the concept of occupational closure and relevant gender issues. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods was used for the investigation. Analysis of questionnaire data revealed differences between community and hospitalbased nurses. It confirmed that community nurses selected the Health Studies course originally designed for them as a rational `follow-on' from courses that led to their professional recognition and qualification to practice community nursing. Hospital nurses were almost evenly distributed across the two courses and were revealed to be of critical interest. Those on the Nursing Studies course conformed to expectations and might be seen as relatively passive in attitude, whereas Health Studies participants were cosmopolitan, held stronger views about their choice of degree and made a `deviant' but not illogical choice of course. The second, qualitative stage, used in-depth interviews of 15 hospital nurses. Hitherto unsuspected relationships were discovered between the academic content of courses chosen by students and their orientation, values and attitudes towards nursing per se and their perceptions of the present and future status of the professionalisation of nursing. Health Studies participants were more likely to reject the utility of nursing theory and models, to feel more negative about nursing currently and more pessimistic about the future than their Nursing Studies degree counterparts. Hospital nurses on the two courses appeared to espouse different models of professionalism, with Nursing Studies participants aligned with the altruistic `functionalist' model in contrast to their Health Studies counterparts who leaned towards conflict models
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available