Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

Minding the gap: some theory-practice disjunctions in nursing education research

Stark, Sheila, Cooke, Peggy and Stronach, Ian (2000) Minding the gap: some theory-practice disjunctions in nursing education research. Nurse education today, 20 (2). pp. 155-63. ISSN 0260-6917

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Nursing and nurse education are currently experiencing 'turbulence' as a result of the rapid, unpredictable and often divergent forces in the macro- and micro-institutional settings. Research-based knowledge seeks to 'smooth-over' this 'turbulence', which the literature cites as 'gaps' between the rhetorical ideals and practical realities. This paper deconstructs three influential ENB-sponsored research projects. It is argued that these research reports introduce forms of 'Utopianism', reinserting theory-practice gaps they sought to close down. Finally, as a result of the idealism revealed by the deconstruction, five key issues for future development in nursing research are discussed. These issues are of significance to educationalists since educational policy and practice in nursing are often developed from research findings.

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