Ethnographic nexus analysis in clinical nursing education

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Purpose/aim(s): Internationally, student nurses' attrition after clinical practice is an increasing problem (Hamshire, Willgoss, & Wibberley, 2012; Pilegård Jensen, 2006). A better understanding of 'becoming a nurse' as situated practice in the hospital wards might help avoid pitfalls in the clinical practice. Thus a thorough insight into the field is necessary in order to change it. The purpose of this paper is to show and discuss how it is possible methodologically to do ethnographic research in clinical education and how the field of clinical nursing education in the hospital wards might be improved after insights obtained through ethnographic research. Methods: Using nexus analysis (Scollon & Scollon, 2004, 2007) as an ethnographic framework in four Danish hospital wards, a study of the development of a professional identity among student nurses in Denmark was conducted. Scollon and Scollon’s notions on 'navigate' and 'engage' in the field provided a frame to combine both discourse (Edley, 2014) document (Prior, 2003) and interaction analysis (Jordan & Henderson, 1995) in order to grasp the crucial social actors and their practice. Contribution: The paper contributes with insights into the field of clinical nursing education, gained through a thorough methodological framework of nexus analysis as an ethnographic way to conduct research in education and grasp the various multimodal social actions that constitute the practice. The paper shows how a combination of (video) observations, written interviews and workshops can be a way to obtain knowledge about the practice that consists of members generalizations, neutral observations, individual experiences and interaction with members (Scollon & Scollon 2004, p. 158).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Ethnography and Education Conference 2016 : Abstracts
Number of pages1
Publication date20 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2016
EventOxford ethnography and education conference (oce) - New College, Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom
Duration: 19 Sep 201621 Sep 2016


ConferenceOxford ethnography and education conference (oce)
LocationNew College, Oxford University
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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