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Child and adolescent mental health nurses’ perceptions of their professional identity: an exploratory study

Philippa Rasmussen (Adelaide Nursing School, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia)
Tiffany Conroy (Adelaide Nursing School, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia)
Mette Grønkjær (Clinical Nursing Research Unit, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark) (Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 11 September 2017

595

Abstract

Purpose

Nurses with specialised knowledge, experience and education are needed to provide specific care in nursing subspecialties such as child and adolescent mental health (CAMH) nursing. However, some of these attributes are implicit and not clear to the wider nursing community. The purpose of this paper is to explore the applicability of a conceptual framework for CAMH inpatient nursing practice to other areas of CAMH nursing practice. This paper presents an exploratory study regarding the applicability of the framework to two small cohorts of CAMH nurses. This study was conducted in Tasmania, Australia and Northern Denmark. These settings were chosen due to the self-perceived knowledge gap surrounding the role and professional identity of these Australian and Danish CAMH nurses.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory qualitative study within the social constructivist paradigm was undertaken. The method of data collection was two focus groups of CAMH nurses in Tasmania, Australia and Northern Denmark. The data were analysed using an adaptation of a six-phase thematic analysis process.

Findings

The analysis of the data resulted in three themes: individual preparation and experience of CAMH nurses, knowledge transfer and nurses’ perceptions of their individual and team roles. The findings have contributed new knowledge of CAMH nursing.

Originality/value

The findings of this study may support the applicability of the conceptual framework with participants’ endorsing that it reflects their role.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to acknowledge the contribution of the CAMH nurse participants from Australia and Denmark as well as Christine Handley and Dr Rikke Jørgensen for their support of the research.

Citation

Rasmussen, P., Conroy, T. and Grønkjær, M. (2017), "Child and adolescent mental health nurses’ perceptions of their professional identity: an exploratory study", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 12 No. 5, pp. 281-291. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-12-2016-0058

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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