A critical discourse analysis of British national newspaper representations of the academic level of nurse education: too clever for our own good?

Authors


Dr Karen Gillett, King’s College London, Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, James Clerk Maxwell Building, 57 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8WA, UK.
E-mail: <karen.gillett@kcl.ac.uk>

Abstract

GILLETT K. Nursing Inquiry 2012; 19: 297–307
A critical discourse analysis of British national newspaper representations of the academic level of nurse education: too clever for our own good?

This critical discourse analysis examines articles about the academic level of nurse education that appeared in British national newspapers between 1999 and 2009. British newspaper journalists regularly attribute problems with recruitment into nursing and nursing care to the increasing academic nature of nurse education. It is impossible to separate discourse about nurse education from the wider nursing discourse. Many journalists laud a traditional and stereotypical construct of nurse identity and suggest that increasing nurse education produces nurses who are ‘too clever to care’. This article argues that whilst nurses lack a voice in the National press, they have little input into the construction of newspaper discourse about nurse education and subsequently, limited influence on resulting public opinion, government policy and the morale of nurses.

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