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Keywords:

  • critical discourse analysis;
  • health policy;
  • methodological research;
  • nurse practitioners;
  • nursing research

Critical discourse analysis is a useful and productive qualitative methodology but has been underutilized within nursing research. In order to redress this deficiency the research presented in this article represents an exploration of the way in which critical discourse analysis may be applied to the analysis of public debates around policy for nursing practice. In this article the author discusses the history of the application of critical discourse analysis and provides an example of its application to the debate around the use of nurse practitioners within the Australian healthcare system.