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Title: Nurse practitioners : redefining occupational boundaries? : an ethnographic study
Author: Barton, Thomas David
Awarding Body: University of Wales, Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2005
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This research project investigated aspects of the cultural and professional perceptions and experiences of individuals involved in the organisation, education and practice of the clinical role of the nurse practitioner. The study also examined the implications of that clinical role for the stability and nature of occupational boundaries, specifically the boundary between the professions of nursing and medicine. The project's focus on occupation, profession and culture ran a natural course in directing the methodological development. That development was grounded in the qualitative paradigm, and in concepts of cultural (anthropological) investigation. Practitioner ethnography was the methodological approach utilised in the design of this research project and it is evident throughout the data and findings. Over a two-year period, a sample of student nurse practitioners who were undertaking a clinical degree programme, was observed. Data were also collected from other individuals involved in the degree programme: teachers, physician mentors and senior academics. No predetermined framework or structure was imposed on the data prior to the analysis. The data were systematically analysed and structured, leading to the inductive identification of sub-themes. These were refined to five broad interconnected transition themes. These themes were then further structured and analysed by comparing and contrasting them within the conceptual framework proposed by Van Gennep (1960) in his work on the symbolic rite of passage. Finally, four broad processes emerged that reflected the events observed within the data. The theoretical framework of transitional rite of passage was used to conceptualise the findings regarding the lived experience of the sample. The findings have revealed that the overall sample experience took the form of a rite of passage and that this process was central to the evolution of new career structures and identities associated with advanced nursing practice. Overall, the nurse practitioner degree programme involved a series of transitions and reappraisals of identity, but ultimately it left them located within the nursing profession.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available