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International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship

Ed. by Andrusyszyn, Mary-Anne / Cragg, Catherine Elizabeth / Goldenberg, Dolly / Iwasiw, Carroll Louise / Maltby, Hendrika J.

1 Issue per year

Conflict in the Preceptorship or Field Experience: A Rippling Tide of Silence

Florence Myrick1 / Anne Phelan2 / Connie Barlow3 / Russ Sawa4 / Gayla Rogers5 / Debb Hurlock6

1University of Alberta,

2University of British Columbia,

3University of Calgary,

4University of Calgary,

5University of Calgary,

6University of Calgary,

Citation Information: International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship. Volume 3, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1548-923X, DOI: 10.2202/1548-923X.1202, January 2006

Publication History

Published Online:
2006-01-24

A major component of the educative process in the professional disciplines is the field education/preceptorship experience in which students are afforded opportunities to develop professional competence under the tutelage of a practising professional and/or a university instructor. During this time students are exposed to competing discourses about what it means to think and act as nurses, teachers, doctors and social workers. Frequently, field teaching is characterized by conflictual situations involving students, field instructors and university faculty. Such conflict is poorly understood as indicated by the lack of literature available in the professional disciplines. The purpose of this study was to explore the phenomenon of conflict within the context of field teaching in professional education. Pivotal to this study was the issue of making sense of the conflict that prospective nurses, teachers, social workers and doctors experience in professional education within the practice realm and how such discourses shape their professional identities, practices and ultimate social values. At issue is the social construction of meaning that takes place within professional education. This study was conducted from the perspective of four professional programs including education, medicine, nursing and social work. The researchers focused on the final year of each program at a time when students were engaged in a major field / preceptorship experience in hospitals, schools, communities and social agencies. The experiences derived from the nursing data are presented in this paper.

Keywords: conflict; multidisciplinary; preceptorship; field experience; professional education; silence

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