Between practice and...

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This Ph.D. by Publication essay organises my work in four sections: Between Practice and Research; Between Practice and Clinical/Operational Management; Between Practice and Policy; and Between Practice and the Public. A context-setting introduction puts the work in the temporal frame of the 1960's through 2001 and announces the point of view taken on nursing: the reason for the existence of the modern health care delivery system is to provide nursing care. In the first section, the publications deal with the development of clinical nursing research methods. My particular effort was to conceptualise the relationship between nursing practice and research. The publications show how that relationship was actualised. The second section contains work done 20 years or so after that reported in the first section, but the work is closely related. Here, the publications deal with the extension of the notion of nursing practice research to clinical/operational management using the rich administrative data produced by casemix (Diagnosis Related Groups - DRGs). This body of work reveals nursing as resource. The third section holds literature review and policy analysis that provide the contexts for nursing practice. Publications deal particularly with the 'expanded role' of nursing as nurse practitioner, nurse-midwife and nurse anesthetist. Research and policy are knit together in this section. In the fourth section, I connect nursing to public forums. The concluding section draws together the themes that have occurred throughout: valuing nursing and making the discipline visible and credible in terms the world understands. The thesis ends with a metaphor that makes research, operations and policy one with public practice: nursing as craft.
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