Building communities in higher education: the case of nursing

Nicola Andrew, Amélia Lopes, Fátima Pereira , Ilda Lima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The historic and current case to retain a focused clinical nursing identity within an academic context is explicit; however there is tension between the need for excellence in teaching and research, and obligation to maintain a credible clinical identity. Nursing is politically and vocationally advanced but, arguably, weaker academically. Considered an 'old vocation' but a 'young discipline', nursing lacks the traditional background found in established academic communities. Nurses still find it difficult to 'let go' of the past and new academics will often try to re-create a clinical role because they lack confidence in their ability to fulfil an academic one. Moving forward, the new graduate nursing programmes and the growing number of hybrid or 'pracademic' roles spanning education and practice will, through the co-creation of knowledge, challenge discipline boundaries and produce a new generation of leaders for the profession.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-77
Number of pages6
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Issue number1
Early online date21 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • professional identity
  • nursing
  • education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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