Josie Crawley & Raeleen Thompson

805 – Sharing stories of nursing: How has rural nurses’ practice evolved?

In this presentation the researchers share collected stories of past and present rural nursing practice. Stories are a powerful mechanism for hearing experiences, building empathy and sparking passion. Capturing these stories can help us learn how nurses have adapted to change and can be inspirational with our colleagues and the next generation of nurses.

A narrative inquiry method and photo images were used to capture and celebrate rural nurses’ experiences of their practice and to answer the research questions:

  1. How and why have rural nurses adopted their practice to accommodate the changing health care contexts?
  2. What is their legacy to nursing practice and the healthcare sector?

Nurses with more than fifteen years’ experience were invited to share their stories of being rural nurse practitioners and their photographs representing their practice context. The researchers used Clandinin and Connelly’s (1990) ‘three-dimensional space narrative structure’ and worked in partnership with the rural nurses to generate, transcribe and edit individual stories. The rural nurse participants then validated their own story for accuracy.

Rural nursing is a rich treasure trove of nursing narratives. Stories come in all shapes and sizes. In this presentation the interpreted meanings and themes, including illustrated snippets of unique rural nursing experiences (as is central to the narrative inquiry paradigm) supported by images will be shared.

Our findings will help the nursing profession to understand how rural nurses’ practice has adapted to the challenges of working in remote and rural communities in New Zealand.

Key words: Rural Nursing; narrative inquiry.