An exploration of the enactment of acculturation in research utilization within a nursing undergraduate curriculum-in-action

Craig Michael Duncan, Yolanda Babenko-Mould, Carroll Iwasiw, Carol McWilliam, Kathy Hibbert


The purpose of the study was to develop an interpretive understanding of the enactment of acculturation to research utilization by students and educators in one undergraduate nursing program.  Professional acculturation is the process by which the values, attitudes, and norms of a professional culture are internalized. As an integral element of safe, effective, and competent nursing care, research utilization has been identified as an important element of professional nursing. Focused ethnography was used as a methodology to explore the social construction of norms, understandings, relationships, and experiences that comprise acculturation to research utilization curriculum-in-action. The acculturation of research utilization transpired unintentionally within the nursing program in the presence of both articulated and unarticulated curricular values, norms, and goals. Two main sub-themes were identified: the use and role of unintentional curricular language and the variable enactment of values, norms, and goals. An intentional approach to acculturation to research utilization within the curriculum-in-action is essential to socially construct the professional practice of nursing through formalized professional education. Nursing programs need to understand how to successfully acculturate students to valued practice competencies such as research utilization because these competencies constitute the essence of professional nursing.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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