Critical analysis of the discourse of competence in professional nursing practice

Harper, Cindy (2009) Critical analysis of the discourse of competence in professional nursing practice. Masters dissertation thesis, Wintec.

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Abstract or Summary

This project aims to provide a critical analysis of the discourse of competence in professional nursing practice, from an historical and contemporary perspective. Through the cultivation of critical thinking, I seek to identify how power operates within this discourse to shape nurse subjectivity. This critique aims to identify the conditions that construct classifications and differences as they relate to competence in nursing practice, and to provide a collection of rich knowledge, ideas and patterned ways of thinking, that seek to assist nurses to explore themselves within the discourse. Critical analysis of the discursive practices as effects of the discourse signifies how the nurse is positioned within the discourse and provides meaning behind the existence of the discourse. An analysis of the key findings will be presented along with a conclusion and recommendations for practice. Methodology and Theoretical Framework. The chosen methodology is a critical analysis of the discourse of competence that draws on theoretical techniques using a Foucauldian method of critique. The theoretical framework for this project draws on the writings of French Historian and Philosopher, Michel Foucault (1926-1984), regarded as the most influential thinker of our time. I have been guided by Penny Powers (2002), and Danaher, Schirato & Webb (2000) interpretation of Michel Foucault’s works. Findings The nursing profession is committed to developing and maintaining practitioners that are competent in their field. This focus on competence is largely driven by the nursing professions commitment toward ensuring the health and safety of the consumers of health care. Although external forces largely shape nursing, it is also strongly influenced by its own practitioners, their vision, their confidence and their image of themselves. Conclusion The discourse of competence in professional nursing practice is a product of professional ethics. Professional nursing competence continues to be shaped by historical and contemporary influences

Item Type:Thesis (Masters dissertation)
Additional Information:30 credit postgraduate research project
Keywords that describe the item:Nursing, Competence, Discourse, Discursive practice, Power, Power knowledge, Genealogy
Subjects:R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions:Schools > Centre for Health & Social Practice
ID Code:531
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Deposited On:15 Dec 2009 00:44
Last Modified:14 Nov 2012 22:11

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