Journal of Nursing Education

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Major Articles 

Doing the Right Thing: Nursing Students, Relational Practice, and Moral Agency

Alesha Beckett, BN; Sarah Gilbertson, BN; Sallie Greenwood, PGDip. Psy. (Comm.), M.Soc.Sci., RN

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Registered nurses and nurse educators are often unaware of how nursing students experience the nursing profession. In the current practice climate of increased workloads, reduced funding, and higher patient acuity, nurse educators are likely to hear from colleagues how unprepared newly qualified nurses are for the needs of practice. It is difficult for many nursing students to see value in their practice because they become preoccupied with their perceived lack of knowledge and technical skills. Nurses and nurse educators should be aware of how this brands new graduates and informs their sense of developing professional identity. Despite their feelings of deficit in terms of skills and knowledge, it is clear that many nursing students are, in fact, effectively negotiating relational ethics. This article presents a collaborative account of the important relational work being undertaken by one group of nursing students in New Zealand.

AUTHORS

Received: April 22, 2005

Accepted: August 1, 2005

Ms. Beckett and Ms. Gilbertson are nurses, Waikato District Health Board, and Ms. Greenwood is Principle Academic Staff Member and Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing and Health, Waikato Institute of Technology, Hamilton, New Zealand.

Address correspondence to Sallie Greenwood, PGDip. Psy. (Comm.), M.Soc.Sci., RN, Principle Academic Staff Member and Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing and Health, Waikato Institute of Technology, Tristam Street, Private Bag 3036, Hamilton, New Zealand; e-mail: sallie.greenwood@wintec.ac.nz.

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Registered nurses and nurse educators are often unaware of how nursing students experience the nursing profession. In the current practice climate of increased workloads, reduced funding, and higher patient acuity, nurse educators are likely to hear from colleagues how unprepared newly qualified nurses are for the needs of practice. It is difficult for many nursing students to see value in their practice because they become preoccupied with their perceived lack of knowledge and technical skills. Nurses and nurse educators should be aware of how this brands new graduates and informs their sense of developing professional identity. Despite their feelings of deficit in terms of skills and knowledge, it is clear that many nursing students are, in fact, effectively negotiating relational ethics. This article presents a collaborative account of the important relational work being undertaken by one group of nursing students in New Zealand.

AUTHORS

Received: April 22, 2005

Accepted: August 1, 2005

Ms. Beckett and Ms. Gilbertson are nurses, Waikato District Health Board, and Ms. Greenwood is Principle Academic Staff Member and Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing and Health, Waikato Institute of Technology, Hamilton, New Zealand.

Address correspondence to Sallie Greenwood, PGDip. Psy. (Comm.), M.Soc.Sci., RN, Principle Academic Staff Member and Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing and Health, Waikato Institute of Technology, Tristam Street, Private Bag 3036, Hamilton, New Zealand; e-mail: sallie.greenwood@wintec.ac.nz.

ABSTRACT

Registered nurses and nurse educators are often unaware of how nursing students experience the nursing profession. In the current practice climate of increased workloads, reduced funding, and higher patient acuity, nurse educators are likely to hear from colleagues how unprepared newly qualified nurses are for the needs of practice. It is difficult for many nursing students to see value in their practice because they become preoccupied with their perceived lack of knowledge and technical skills. Nurses and nurse educators should be aware of how this brands new graduates and informs their sense of developing professional identity. Despite their feelings of deficit in terms of skills and knowledge, it is clear that many nursing students are, in fact, effectively negotiating relational ethics. This article presents a collaborative account of the important relational work being undertaken by one group of nursing students in New Zealand.

AUTHORS

Received: April 22, 2005

Accepted: August 1, 2005

Ms. Beckett and Ms. Gilbertson are nurses, Waikato District Health Board, and Ms. Greenwood is Principle Academic Staff Member and Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing and Health, Waikato Institute of Technology, Hamilton, New Zealand.

Address correspondence to Sallie Greenwood, PGDip. Psy. (Comm.), M.Soc.Sci., RN, Principle Academic Staff Member and Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing and Health, Waikato Institute of Technology, Tristam Street, Private Bag 3036, Hamilton, New Zealand; e-mail: sallie.greenwood@wintec.ac.nz.

10.3928/01484834-20070101-06

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