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Title: An exploration of the knowledge required by nurses to achieve occupational capability : looking beyond the theory-practice gap
Author: Hammond, Jennifer Mary
ISNI:       0000 0004 7223 5255
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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The knowledge required for nursing competence has commonly been conceptualised in terms of theory and practice. This presents two separate and distinct accounts of the knowledge required for occupational practice, where deficits in a nurse’s competence are often assumed to arise because of a lack of either theoretical or practical knowledge. However, others claim that this provides a rather disjointed and incoherent account of the knowledge required for occupational practice. Instead, they have suggested knowledge is grounded on a much more fundamental understanding of human involvements, disclosed to us through our shared engagement in a world of meanings and understandings, as anticipated by the phenomenological philosophers Heidegger (1962) and Merleau-Ponty (2014). From this perspective, the ability to perform within an occupational role involves a learning to perceive, interpret and understand the ‘world’ of the occupational group one is aspiring to join. This empirical study set out to gain insight into the knowledge and understandings substantially required to perform within an occupational role. Using a case study of ten nurses working with an acute hospital NHS Trust, this study examined how such understandings may be manifested in their everyday practice. From thematic analysis of data collected from participant observation and qualitative interviewing, evidence was found to support the view that nurses practised in ways that were congruent with this phenomenological account of knowledge. This study contributes to the existing literature by concluding that the knowledge required for nursing competence involves an ability to perceive and relate to practice in ways that are constituted by a kind of phenomenological understanding. It also suggests that nurses are subconsciously disposed to adopt practices, in accordance with these understandings. This study recommends that nurse education should abandon its focus on the outcomes of learning, which are secondary and derivative of a more fundamental understanding, and instead focus on the tacit and embodied nature of knowledge that gives rise to such capabilities.
Supervisor: Lum, Gerard ; Owens, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available