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Title: What are retired nurses' perspectives on the concept of wise nurse?
Author: Underwood, Sally Ann
ISNI:       0000 0004 6058 5469
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2016
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Appalling deficiencies in care as demonstrated in the Francis Report (2013) illustrate how nursing needs to understand, perform and ensure high quality nursing services. This strive for excellence includes better knowledge and education of students and registrants, both academically and by mentorship, coaching and supervision. However, ‘better’ educated is difficult to define. For Aristotle “the most finished form of knowledge is wisdom” or phronesis (Aristotle 1986 pg. 211), therefore the pursuit of wise nurses is a laudable endeavour. A paucity of empirical research exists around the identification of wise nurses, although previous theorists have critiqued nursing in relation to phronesis which has led to many contradictions and blurring of concepts. In an attempt at clarification this thesis enlisted retired adult nurses with the benefit of hindsight from a full career within nursing to recall former colleagues considered wise. By using constructivist grounded theory and in-depth interviewing I elicited data from which my theory, the 3 pillars of virtue, for wise nurses emerged (intellectual, personal and professional virtue). This holistic model suggests that nursing applicants should demonstrate foundation virtues then strive for ‘professional phronemos’ (on the journey to professional wisdom) over their career with the ultimate goal of reaching wise nurse status. I postulate that it takes many years to achieve excellence in all 3 virtues, hence wise nurses were shown to be rare and from the older generation. Their extensive expertise was recognised by participants as ‘something special inside’, ‘stunning’, ‘gifted’, ‘some indefinable essence’. This research offers pertinent recommendations to the field since wise nurses were identified as natural leaders, guardians of the profession, enablers and role-models for facilitating professional phronemos in others. The recent UK recession has diminished the numbers of senior nurses and thereby many wise professionals. We need to encourage mature nurses to remain in order to role-model, mentor and nurture others to become wise nurses of the future. My results also advocate ‘gatekeeping’ the profession; broadening our professional knowledge beyond competency frameworks and guidelines; facilitation of professional phronemos in all nurses; and consideration of ‘legacy mentors’ from amongst recently retired nurses.
Supervisor: Wellington, Jeremy ; Winter, Christine ; Shelton, Alan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available