Reconciling professional identity: a grounded theory study of nurse academics' role modelling

Baldwin, Adele (2016) Reconciling professional identity: a grounded theory study of nurse academics' role modelling. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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Predicted nursing workforce shortfalls in Australia and internationally emphasise the need for nursing graduates who possess characteristics that enable successful transition to practice and promote longevity in the profession. In the context of the significant change that nurse education has undergone in recent decades, it is necessary to better understand how nursing students learn about nursing in order to ensure their preparedness for their professional role. While role modelling is recognised as a key factor in this process, this largely relates to the education of students in the practice environment, with little known about the significance of nurse academics as role models for nursing students.

The study described in this thesis sought to answer the research question: how do nurse academics role model positive professional behaviours for undergraduate students? The aims of this study were to theorise a process of nurse academic role modelling for undergraduate students, describe elements that support positive role modelling by nurse academics, and explain factors that influence the implementation of academic role modelling.

Grounded theory methods were applied to address these aims. Observation, focus groups and individual interviews enabled the generation and analysis of data within a framework of symbolic interactionism. The result was a grounded theory of reconciling professional identity. This theory describes the processes that nurse academics use to create a context for learning, create a context for authentic rehearsal and mirror identity in their role modelling of professional behaviours for undergraduate nursing students.

The key findings from this study suggest that:

• nurse academics create a context for authentic rehearsal in the process of role modelling for nursing students

• clinical presence and clinical confidence are key factors that comprise nurse academics' clinical currency

• nurse academics undergo a process of reconciling their clinical identity with their academic identity

• nurse academics shape nursing students' professional identity by role modelling behaviours that students mirror in their own lives.

The findings of this study contribute to the existing literature through highlighting the significance of nurse academics as role models. The theories of professional identity and the four essential shifts for integration extend the explanatory power of the theory of reconciling professional identity. As a result of this study, it is recommended that employers of nurse academics review and implement institutional policy to promote relationship building between education providers and the clinical setting, as enablers of nurse academics' reconciliation of their professional identity. Future research projects could investigate whether the concepts and final theory from this study apply to countries with different education and professional regulatory frameworks.

Item ID: 44637
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: academic nurses; nurses; nursing education; nursing; professional identities; role modeling; role modelling; teaching nursing
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This is a thesis by publication. Published articles included in chapters 2, 3 and Appendix A have been redacted from the thesis due to copyright restrictions. The full thesis may either be requested via document delivery at your local library or viewed in the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library at JCU, Townsville.

Three publications arising from this thesis are stored in ResearchOnline@JCU, at the time of processing. Please see the Related URLs. The publications are:

Chapter 2: Baldwin, Adele, Mills, Jane, Birks, Melanie, and Budden, Lea (2014) Role modeling in undergraduate nursing education: an integrative literature review. Nurse Education Today, 34 (6). e18-e26.

Chapter 3: Baldwin, Adele (2014) Putting the philosophy into PhD. Working Papers in the Health Sciences, 1 (10). pp. 1-4.

Appendix A: Baldwin, Adele, Bentley, Karyn, Langtree, Tanya, and Mills, Jane (2014) Achieving graduate outcomes in undergraduate nursing education: following the Yellow Brick Road. Nurse Education in Practice, 14 (1). pp. 9-11.

Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2016 02:56
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930199 Learner and Learning not elsewhere classified @ 70%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930299 Teaching and Instruction not elsewhere classified @ 30%
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