Communities of practice and the construction of the professional identities of nurse educators: a review of the literature
Woods, A, Cashin, A & Stockhausen, L 2015, 'Communities of practice and the construction of the professional identities of nurse educators: a review of the literature' Nurse Education Today, vol. 37, pp. 164-169.
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Objectives: To comprehensively review the Community of Practice literature from nursing contexts to explore whether and how these communities contribute to the social construction of nurse educator professional identity. Design: Due to the wide scope of predominately qualitative literature on the topic, papers were analysed and themed inductively. Data sources: CINAHL, MEDLINE, COCHRANE, EBSCO databases, Emerald, Proquest & Google Scholar. Review methods: These online databases were searched for relevant peer-reviewed journal papers in the English language with no date range specified. The search terms ‘nurs* educator’ and ‘nurs* teacher’ were combined with each of the terms ‘communit* of practice’, ‘identity’ and ‘role’ resulting in 293 peer-reviewed journal papers. Where abstracts were missing, introductory and background sections were skimmed for related content. Papers that made incidental reference to either professional identity or a Community of Practice were excluded. Results: In total, 63 primary study or discussion papers were found to have a focus on nurse educator identity and/or communities of practice in healthcare contexts. Papers specifically focused on communities of practice in nursing (n = 33) could only be found from the last 10 years (2005–2015). Only five of these focused on nurse educators. Conclusions: Community of Practice theory and the professional teaching literature offers collaborative and active ways for nurse educators to further develop their professional identities. Despite the emergence of communities of practice in the nursing literature, further studies are required to explore how such a construct can facilitate the social construction of nurse educator professional identity.