Getting to the root of it: How do faculty address professional boundaries, role expansion, and intra-professional collaboration?

Jacqueline Limoges, Kim Jagos, Sara Lankshear, Sandy Madorin, Deb Witmer


Background: Little research exists to guide nursing faculty to respond to the most recent entry-to-practice education changes and subsequent practice and knowledge expansion for nurses. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of faculty as they teach about professional boundaries and role clarity to college and university nursing students and how this teaching is connected to in intra-professional collaboration.

Methods: This qualitative research study used a critical feminist sociology to analyze interviews and relevant documents. Twenty-five nursing faculty from an Ontario, Canada school were interviewed.

Results: Through our analysis we detected two main findings. The first was the activation of hierarchies positioning the university program with more status and legitimacy than the college program, and how this established power relations and impeded nursing education for role clarity. The second was the struggle to articulate the actual differences between the roles and contributions of the Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) and the Registered Nurse (RN) and how this struggle impeded education for effective collaboration and role clarity.

Conclusions: Supporting faculty to recognize the distinct and overlapping contributions of each type of nurse can support educational reform that promotes competencies in collaborative care.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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