AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

The development of nursing agency in the context of oppression : a study of the experiences of nurse educators

by Alisa L. Schneider

Institution: Oregon State University
Department: Education
Degree: PhD
Year: 2015
Keywords: Nursing; Nurses  – Social conditions
Record ID: 2061283
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1957/55338


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to discover the experiences nurse educators (NEs) have had with oppression and to uncover how their experiences may have impacted their teaching. This study was significant as nurse retention is negatively affected by oppressed group behaviors (Duchscher & Myrick, 2008; Tinsley & France, 2004), and the safety of the public is threatened by the pervasiveness of oppressed group behaviors in the nursing workplace (American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 2004; Center for American Nurses, 2008; International Council of Nurses, 2006). The professional formation of nursing students may be impacted by factors associated with oppression, and more research is needed on the experiences of NEs to inform on the phenomenon of oppression. The oppressed group behavior model proposed by Roberts (1983), based in Freire's (1970/2012) work with the oppressed, has been used as a foundation for research to understand disruptive behaviors that impact nursing and to explain the profession's lack of autonomy and power within the health care system. In the present study, an open-ended, semi-structured, non-hierarchical questioning method was used to give ten community college NEs the opportunity to share their experiences with oppression. The NEs described experiences where the oppressive use of power and others' disruptive behaviors interfered in their work and professional formation. They developed personal power from their experiences. Nursing agency arose as the essence of the phenomenon of oppression as experienced by the NEs in this study. Despite professional formation within oppressive workplace circumstances, each NE's experiences helped form her own agency from which she sought ways to prepare students to enter the nursing workplace.