Sessional teachers in a BN program: Bridging the divide or widening the gap?

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Journal Article
Nurse Education Today, 2010, 30 (5), pp. 453 - 457
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Casualisation of the academic workforce has resulted in an increase in the employment of sessional teachers in Bachelor of Nursing (BN) programs. Many of these teachers are drawn from specialty clinical areas and continue to work clinically while teaching part-time. The aim of this study was to explore the perceptions of sessional teachers about their perceived contribution to an undergraduate Bachelor of Nursing program in a single Australian university. Twelve sessional teachers participated in semi-structured interviews as part of a larger mixed method study exploring the issues related to sessional teaching in the Bachelor of Nursing program. Three themes emerged from the data; (1) " Bringing 'reality' to the classroom" , (2) " Privileging experiential knowledge" , and (3) " Establishing boundaries with students" Underpinning the narratives was a strong subtext related to the theory-practice gap. Proactive strategies to facilitate the potential of sessional staff are articulated in the paper. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.
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