Policy matters: critical policy analysis and nursing

Authors

  • Julianne Cheek PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of South Australia, Holbrooks Road, Underdale South Australia 5032
      Associate Professor Julianne Cheek, Faculty of Nursing, University of South Australia, Holbrooks Road, Underdale South Australia 5032. E-mail: lulianne.Cheek@unisa.edu.au
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  • Terri Gibson RN, Dip App s. (Nsg), BN(Ed)

    1. Lecturer, Faculty of Nursing, University of South Australia, Holbrooks Road, Underdale South Australia 5032
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Associate Professor Julianne Cheek, Faculty of Nursing, University of South Australia, Holbrooks Road, Underdale South Australia 5032. E-mail: lulianne.Cheek@unisa.edu.au

Abstract

Policy is an integral part of nursing. At the organisational level, policies are constantly developed in a seemingly endless quest to provide more effective and efficient nursing services and outcomes. Such an increasing generation of policy appears to rest on the taken-for-granted assumption by nurses that policy is essential for good nursing practice. However, is it necessarily the case that the generation of policy documents advances the practice of nursing? Rather, does the apparent uncritical adoption of the role of policy by nurses actually serve to further regulate, control, and even limit the practice of nursing? This paper uses a critical perspective to explore nursing policy. In so doing it exposes the effect of policy on the construction and maintenance of everyday understandings of nursing practice.

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