Striving to be in close proximity to the patient: An interpretive descriptive study of nursing practice from the perspectives of clinically experienced registered nurses

Nursing Inquiry 28 (2):e12387 (2021)
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Abstract

This paper explores essential characteristics of current nursing practice from the perspectives of clinically experienced registered nurses in various fields of health care in Sweden. Nursing practice has been the subject of much debate in the past and because of its complexity as well as continuous changes in society it is important to continue the debate. A qualitative study, including 16 group interviews with altogether 74 participants, was conducted. Nursing practice was viewed as a multifaceted field. The participants struggled to define nursing but were able to describe it using concrete examples. The analysis, using interpretive description, identified current practice as essentially consisting of: ‘A practice pervaded by comprehensive responsibility’, ‘A practice that recognises a patient's unique needs’, ‘A practice based on multifaceted knowledge’ and ‘A practice that mediates between traditional values and changing demands’. Current nursing practice can be understood as striving to be in close proximity to the patient, but in tension with pervasive requirements and societal changes. Going forward, it is necessary to continue to reflect on and discuss the nature of nursing practice in an interprofessional context. Studies from primary and home care are also needed to broaden the understanding of nursing practice.

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