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Keywords:

  • emotion work;
  • nursing jurisdiction;
  • occupational mandate

The implications of healthcare reforms for the profession of nursing

This paper offers a wide-ranging analysis of concerns that the value of emotion work within nursing is being eroded. We examine the occupation’s historical development to argue that, in so far as emotion work has any essence within nursing, it is as an occupational myth which has been deployed to legitimate nurses’ jurisdictional claims. We argue that recent developments in health-care raise questions about the benefits of claims of this kind and suggest that a little more realism about the nature of nursing work might make for a more sustainable professional future.