This subsection deals with the development of values within the nursing profession. Iris Wallenburg, Martijn Felder, Roland Bal and Syb Kuijper examine the way in which nurses position themselves in the field of healthcare and healthcare policy, and they examine the consequences thereof with regard to professional development and practice in healthcare. The researchers also look at how differentiated practice is implemented in daily healthcare practice, and how nursing practice relates to that of other healthcare professionals.
Nurses and nursing are a crucial, yet understudied and undertheorized part of healthcare systems. In (traditional) literature on professionalism, nurses are postulated as quasi- or even ‘weak’ professionals, stressing their subordinate position and the invisibility of nursing work. Increasingly however, nursing is considered as crucially important to meet changing healthcare demands. In (international) policy reports, nurses are heralded as ‘the futurity’ of high quality, responsive and affordable healthcare provision. These rather contradictory views require further examination. How can the nursing profession be both weak and the saviour of healthcare?
In this study, which is part of the broader and multi-centered RN2Blend research programme, we examine nurses and nursing at the cross point of everyday nursing, (hospital) organizational management, healthcare policy, and nurses as a developing profession. Using sociological, political, feminist and STS theories, we study how nurses and nursing work is crafted, politicized and valued in health care practices and policies. We use ethnographic research methods to delve into the details of nursing work and to connect this to wider organizational and policy questions.
Our research team: Syb Kuijper, Martijn Felder, Roland Bal, Iris Wallenburg, Erasmus School of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus Universiteit, Rotterdam.
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