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Int J Nurs Stud. 2006 Nov;43(8):953-62. Epub 2005 Dec 28.

Caring: the socialisation of pre-registration student nurses: a longitudinal qualitative descriptive study.

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  • 1Division of Nursing, University of Bradford, Unity Building, Trinity Road, Bradford, UK.



This study explores the impact of the process of socialisation on pre-registration student nurses views about care, and their personal ability to cope with becoming a nurse.


It aims to identify the effect time has on participants attitudes and views of care and becoming a nurse, during pre-registration nurse training, by using a descriptive longitudinal qualitative design.


Data collection took place within the School of Health or on student's clinical placement areas, using a random sample of 16 pre-registration student nurses obtained from a convenience sample of 52 volunteers.


Participants were involved in two semi-structured in depth interviews, the first 6-9 months after entering nurse training and the second 6-9 months prior to completion. Interviews were tape recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using Morse and Field's (1996) four stages of analysis.


Identified changes between data collection stages suggest socialisation results in a loss of idealism about care within nursing, as well as the identification of negative aspects of care. Loss of care is linked to increased abilities to cope with the nursing role, although this is not uniform and some participants clearly discriminate and reject negative exposures. In conclusion this study identifies an under recognised dichotomy between the caring ethos of professional nursing and the professional socialisation processes student nurses are subject to, which directly mitigate against the individual nurses abilities to care.

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