Exploring the Dominant Discourse of Baccalaureate Nursing Education in Iran

Ahmadreza Yazdannik, Alireza Yousefy, Sepideh Mohammadi


Introduction: Understanding how academic dominant discourse is implicated in the shaping of nursing identity, professional aspirations and socialization of nursing students is useful as it can lead to strategies that promote nursing profession.

Materials and Methods: This is a qualitative research conducted through discourse analysis approach. Semi‑structured interviews, focus group, and direct observation of undergraduate theoretical and clinical courses were used to collect the data. Participants were 71 nursing students, 20 nursing educators, and 5 nursing board staffs from five universities in Iran.

Results: Data analysis resulted in the development of four main themes that represent essential discourses of nursing education. The discourses explored are theoretical and scientific nursing, domination of biomedical paradigm, caring as an empty signifier, and more than expected role of research in nursing education discourse.

Conclusions: The results indicated that academics attempt to define itself based on “scientific knowledge” and faculties seek to socialize students by emphasizing the scientific/theoretical basis of nursing and research, with the dominance of biomedical discourse. It fails to conceptually grasp the reality of nursing practice, and the result is an untested and impoverished theoretical discourse. The analysis highlights the need for the formation of a strong and new discourse, which contains articulation of signifiers extracted from the nature of the profession.


Baccalaureate nursing; discourse analysis; nursing education; nursing student

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