The route in to the academy: the liminal state of the nursing and construction professions?

Stephanie McKendry, Gayle McKay, Victoria Boyd, Nicky Andrew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Nursing and the construction industry arguably enjoy uneasy membership of the academy. As both move closer towards university-based learning, debates remain about where discipline-specific training should best be provided and the importance of softer, graduate skills for the professions. This paper contextualises that debate by describing both professions route into the academy and the similarities and differences in that historical journey and their present position. What emerges is a complex picture of negotiation and shifting priorities that can present challenges for students as well as teaching staff. Whilst students may be vocationally-orientated, the need for generic, critical attributes has increased. A model of academic skills provision has been developed at one university in order to accommodate these potentially conflicting priorities. The devolved, embedded approach allows for the creation of support tailored to specific cohorts and aligned to professional identity and language and, thus far, has proven successful in engaging students.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • construction industry
  • academic development
  • nursing
  • professional identity


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