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Keywords:

  • focus groups;
  • hermeneutic interpretation;
  • caring science;
  • clinical education unit;
  • nurse education;
  • collaboration;
  • caritative leadership

Scand J Caring Sci; 2012; 26; 579–586

‘The responsibility of someone else’: a focus group study of collaboration between a university and a hospital regarding the integration of caring science in practice

Aim:  The aim of the study was to develop insights into how nurses, senior preceptors and head nurses experience the integration of caring science in practice and how they value the contributions of nursing students to the integration of caring science in practice.

Background:  Research still reveals differences between theory and practice by nursing students. In Sweden, clinical education units have become one way of creating consistency between university and health care practices on values of caring.

Method:  The study is hermeneutic in design comprising data from three focus group interviews. The participants include registered nurses, senior preceptors and head nurses.

Result:  The study shows that roles and mandates are not clearly defined between the different actors. The university and hospital collaboration in caring science integration was regarded as ‘someone else’s responsibility’. Research and development seemed excluded from the everyday life of the hospital units. The students seemed to fall somewhere between the hospital ‘practice and concrete world of production’ and the university ‘theory world of education and research’. Three themes emerge: ‘integration – someone else’s responsibility’, ‘the hospital – a culture of production’ and ‘the hospital and the university – different realities’.

Discussion:  The results suggest the need for professionals within health care and university to reflect on their responsibilities in terms of research and development. The ethos of caring science implies the alleviation of suffering and caring for vulnerable patients including research and development.