• best practice; health-care delivery; modernist discourse; poststructural critique; quality health care

This paper offers a poststructural critique of the concept of best practice and suggests that those practising best practice seek to reinforce modernist notions of health care and health-care delivery. Modernist notions limit possibilities for health-care workers, including nurses, as well as limiting the care delivered to clients. In turn, these mask various outcomes for clients and health-care workers. This paper explores the concept of best practice and the discourse on which it is based and offers an alternative perspective on which high quality health-care services can be developed.