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Perceptions and experiences of leadership: a narrative inquiry of leadership in undergraduate nurse education

James, Alison 2020. Perceptions and experiences of leadership: a narrative inquiry of leadership in undergraduate nurse education. Cardiff University.
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Summary This thesis applied a narrative inquiry methodology and photographic elicitation to explore experiences and perceptions of leadership in undergraduate nurse education. Five final year students, six academics and one senior nurse participated in semistructured interviews which were analysed individually, and then at group level using a three-dimensional framework of temporality, sociality and place. Interpretations were developed and synthesised with the wider empirical and theoretical literature and critical application of the theoretical and philosophical frameworks of Dewey’s experiential continuum and Nussbaum’s intelligence of emotions and social justice. The findings revealed tensions between expectations of leadership, defining leadership and a disconnect between the social and cultural experiences and contexts of learning. Participants all placed value in leadership in nursing and the academics and nurse had clear perceptions of leadership characteristics, yet the students found distinguishing these a challenge. Interpretations revealed a challenge for students in connecting theory to practice within different learning contexts, highlighting the theory practice gap continues to obstruct effective leadership learning for some students. Furthermore, exploring the impact of emotional reasoning and reflexivity following examples and representations of leadership for students, revealed a need to further explore how this influences their vision and expectations of self as leader, adding to the importance of sharing and conceptualising experiences from practice in learning. Interpretations of experiences of leadership revealed the profound emotional response experience can evoke. This allowed exploration of the hierarchical social contexts within the profession, as well as the paradoxical challenges of a values-based profession in a target driven organisational construct. This study revealed the need for clarity and consistency in the terminology for leadership in undergraduate nurse education. Further consideration of how clinical practice experience of leadership aligns with theoretical learning in the higher education context and what opportunities are equally provided, is needed. iii Acknowledgements This doctoral study would not have been possible without the support of my daughters, Bethan and Carys, who have been unwavering in their positivity and enthusiasm while also facing their own educational challenges of GSCE’s and A levels during this time. I would also like to thank my family who have always supported my continuous learning and especially my parents for inspiring me in their work ethic. I owe my mother deep gratitude for providing me with a vision of leadership in nursing and stories of her experiences of nursing spanning 1960- 1990. My inspiring supervisors, Professor Dianne Watkins O.B.E and Dr. Judith Carrier have encouraged and questioned throughout, prompting me to question and constantly review this work and I am deeply grateful for their time, wonderful wisdom, expert knowledge and support. Thank you to my colleagues who have been engaged and encouraging, and to Cardiff University who funded this Doctorate. Finally, to the participants who volunteered, in providing their time and relating their stories. I am very grateful for the insight into their experiences and for their interest in my work.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 April 2021
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2021 13:54

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