The perspective of student nurses and their perceptions of professional nursing during the nurse training programme

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Abstract

This study was undertaken to identify what preconceptions student nurses have of nursing when they enter the nurse training programme at university and how these views change during the course The term ‘perspective’ was chosen to describe how the students view themselves, their environment, ways of thinking and feeling about nursing and the opportunity to act in nursing and educational situations The data for this ethnographic study were collected by means of participant observations, interviews and document analysis The subjects were 41 nursing students enrolled in the nursing programme at a school of nursing in the Swedish Midlands Four different ways of perceiving the nursing function are discerned from the descriptions of the task, status and personality traits associated with nursing The results indicate that student nurses perceive nursing in a very traditional way and that their perceptions tend to be stable during the training period The findings suggest that about one-third of the students develop a new perspective and a self-concept as a nurse during the course, but the traditional image of the nurse persists

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