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The rise of practice development with/in reformed bureaucracy: discourse, power and the government of nursing

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rudge t., holmes d. & perron a. (2011) Journal of Nursing Management 19, 837–844

The rise of practice development with/in reformed bureaucracy: discourse, power and the government of nursing

Aim  Using a neo‐Foucauldian approach, a critique of texts explicitly dealing with the definitional work for practice development (PD) was undertaken.

Background  PD has been taken up by many organizations as a way of focusing on nurses’ practices to benefit patients and the organization.

Evaluation  Literature pertaining to the PD phenomenon was examined and the present study explores those texts accomplishing definitional work. The discourse corpus collected together articles in nursing journals, book chapters and textbooks. The corpus was analysed using the discourse analysis method.

Key issues  PD uses and manipulates its location in a network of managerialism, evidence‐based nursing, safety and quality discourses in healthcare to verify (and confirm) its definition and its position as central to progress in nursing practice.

Conclusion  We argue that while PD is portrayed as ‘emancipatory’ and transforming, nurses bear the responsibility for the system and its failures in a web of intricate power relations.

Implications for Nursing Management  The present study offers a review of the PD ideology in nursing where a critical perspective has yet to be found. Nursing managers should understand that PD is not a panacea for improving patient care.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: , Sydney Nursing School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia 2: , School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Publication date: October 1, 2011

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