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Nurse education in higher education: Understanding cultural barriers to progress

Miers, Margaret


Margaret Miers


Nurse education is established in higher education but nurse academics remain concerned about nursing's lack of equal status within the academy. This paper reports findings of a small study of nurse lecturers' views which support other published studies. It argues that cultural factors which contribute to nursing's problems gaining equal status include anti-intellectualism within nursing and academic denigration of practice. These cultural factors are linked to the history of women in higher education, the separation between intellectual education and practical, skill-based training, the low status of caring courses and the resulting mutual denigration of culturally opposed groups. Anti-intellectualism in nursing can be seen as a defensive reaction against an academic culture that defines practical activity as inferior to abstract thinking skills. This can lead to limited educational opportunities to examine the structural and cultural context of nursing. In Freire's view, this is a necessary part of education for freedom. Current cultural change, in nursing and higher education, including an emphasis on learning outcomes and transferable skills, provides new opportunities for nursing to contribute to educational change. Removing cultural barriers to the educated nurse is a responsibility shared by universities and by the nursing profession. © 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.


Miers, M. (2002). Nurse education in higher education: Understanding cultural barriers to progress. Nurse Education Today, 22(3), 212-219.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2002
Journal Nurse Education Today
Print ISSN 0260-6917
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 3
Pages 212-219
Keywords nurse education, higher education, cultural barriers to progress
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