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Applying a Foucauldian lens to the Canadian code of ethics for registered nurses as a discursive mechanism for nurses professional identity.

Authors
  • Purvis, Janet K1
  • 1 Rankin School of Nursing, St Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Canada. , (Canada)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Nursing Inquiry
Publisher
Wiley (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2023
Volume
30
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/nin.12536
PMID: 36260285
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

This study examines the Canadian Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses as a discursive mechanism for shaping nurses' professional identity using a Foucauldian lens. Nurses are considered essential in healthcare, yet the nursing profession has struggled to be recognized for its discipline-specific knowledge and expertise and, as such, has remained the subject of and subject to the dominant discourses within healthcare and society generally. Developing a professional identity in nursing begins after the necessary education and training are achieved and embodies the profession's history, values, code of ethics, and expectations of the profession that distinguish it from other professions. Since nurses' professional identity is shaped through discourse, it raises the question of whether there are spaces to reconceptualize nurses' subject position within health care. Since professional identity is considered the embodiment of knowledge and practice, the code of ethics bears examination both for its effect on nurses' professional identity and as a potential site from which to challenge hegemonic assumptions. This article discusses the concept of professional identity in nursing and its development through the discursive formations in the code of ethics. The sources of power/knowledge are examined as both mechanisms of control and as spaces for change. © 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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