Background: Minimal research exists regarding professional identity in nursing faculty. The established literature from teaching, nursing, and medicine shows professional identity promotes resilience, collaboration, and positive practice outcomes. These factors would be beneficial in the recruitment, orientation, and retention of nursing faculty. Purpose: The goal of this research was to explore, interpret, and understand the phenomenon of professional identity in expert nursing academics. Design/Methods: This hermeneutic phenomenological study used the philosophy and methods of Max van Manen (1997). Each participant completed a written narrative describing a defining moment in his or her career, drew and labeled an Illustrated Career Trajectory, and participated in a narrative interview. The data were coded and interpreted to determine the essence of professional identity in master nursing academics. Findings: Thirteen master academics participated in this study. The essential themes were: Professional Identity as Individualized Construct, Workplace as Formative Agent, Teacher as Lifelong Student, Relationships, Focus on the Students, and Constant Reconstruction Over Time. A conceptual model was developed to illustrate the relationships between the essential themes. Conclusions: Professional identity is a relevant phenomenon for nursing faculty throughout an entire career. Organizations must be cognizant of the needs of novice to expert nursing faculty, as supporting the development of professional identity benefits the practitioner, the organization, and the students.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. June 2013. Major: Nursing. Advisor: Cynthia Peden-McAlpine, PhD, ACNS, BC. 1 computer file (PDF); x, 283 pages, appendices A-I.
Becker, Brenda Anne.
The lived experience of professional identity in master nursing academics.
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