It’s Always With You: The Experience of Being a 1970s Hospital Trained General Nursing Student

Johns, Susan
Spence, Deb
Smythe, Liz
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Doctor of Health Science
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Auckland University of Technology

This qualitative study articulates the meaning of being a general student nurse, trained within the 1970s apprenticeship system in New Zealand. It informs the present understandings of self, forty years hence . Commenced in 1901, the 1970s heralded the beginning of the end to this form of nurse preparation. Hospital training was deemed outdated and no longer fit for purpose. Using hermeneutic phenomenology, informed by philosophers Heidegger and Gadamer, the experiences of 15 former student nurses, who trained as general nurses within the Auckland Hospital Board School of Nursing, were uncovered. The interrelated themes; becoming who one is; being in a training system and getting through; reveal the influences of the experience of being a 1970s general student nurse, on who one is today . These findings show that being hospital trained left an ongoing legacy and will continue to do so in the future. Whether being a student was something warmly recalled, or not, this experience ‘is always with you’. Being a 1970s general nursing student continues to shape one’s life in ways which both enrich and question who one is.

1970s New Zealand , General nurse training , Hermeneutic phenomenology , Ontology
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