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Professional information and the development of the nursing profession Olof Sundin The Swedish School of Library and Information Science

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Presentation on theme: "Professional information and the development of the nursing profession Olof Sundin The Swedish School of Library and Information Science"— Presentation transcript:

1 Professional information and the development of the nursing profession Olof Sundin The Swedish School of Library and Information Science

2 Previous research shows that... Nurses to a minor extent seek and use formal professional information Nurses to a lesser extent use hospital libraries and, when they do, usually in relation to their further education Nurses experience a number of barriers, such as time, access, knowledge, the healthcare organization Earlier studies take the information system as a starting point, not the user

3 Some notes on theory of professions Focus on the strategies used by occupational groups to attain social status, the professional project Professions exist in relation to each other, often in rivalry Research on professions places the knowledge claims of professions in focus Knowledge claims are represented in professional information, e.g. journals, databases and libraries

4 Two competing professional discourses of nursing A craft The female vocation Learning in practice Medical knowledge at the fore Subordinated expertise A profession Academic (male) education Formal knowledge Nursing knowledge at the fore Equal expertise

5 This is the reason why nursing proper can only be taught by the patients bedside, and in the sick- room or ward. Neither can it be taught by books, though these are valuable accessories, if used as such; otherwise, what is in the book stays in the book. Nightingale 1867

6 But why should the medical library only be open to doctors? Why should all the other staff be shut out? Thats annoyed me for a long time. We can read as well, you know. The Municipal Worker 1971

7 We are aware that the level of nursing school and medical libraries is very uneven. Within the nursing school area much has been developed. Unfortunately it does not look quite so good as far as hospital medical libraries are concerned and perhaps we have ourselves to blame. The demand for nursing literature must come from us, from our representatives in library committees! The Healthcare Union 1979

8 Just as it is the nursing researchers obligation to supply healthcare workers with new knowledge it is the health care personnels responsibility to accept it. If measures are not taken on this level there is a great risk that nursing research will finish up on institutional book shelves /…/ Nursing: the Establishment of a New Discipline 1984

9 In nurses want to call themselves professional they will have to keep up with research and scientific development The Healthcare Union 2000

10 Based on Ulrichs Periodical Directory (2002) Total Scholarly academic journals Trade journals

11 Conclusions The main focus in the applied knowledge domain of nursing has changed from medicine to nursing This change can be seen partly as a result of a professional project The existence of nursing literature has been used as a criteria for professionalization Nurses information seeking and use should be understood in relation to nurses professional project


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