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Logics of care in clinical education

Sine Lehn-Christiansen (Department of People and Technology, Roskilde Universitet, Roskilde, Denmark) (Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Mari Holen (Department of People and Technology, Roskilde Universitet, Roskilde, Denmark)

Journal of Organizational Ethnography

ISSN: 2046-6749

Article publication date: 28 August 2019

Issue publication date: 2 October 2019



The purpose of this paper is to explore how clinical nurse education and nursing students’ care practices are shaped by different logics of care.


Inspired by Mol’s work on care, the paper explores care practices connected to the clinical education of nurses. The empirical data were generated from longitudinal, multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork among nursing students in clinical practice combined with follow-up interviews with the students and their supervisors.


The paper illustrates how three logics of care shape clinical education: the logic of relational care, the logic of care education and the logic of care production. The paper demonstrates how the logics unfold and entangle in everyday clinical education. On the one hand, care of patients based on the relationship between patient and nurse is highly valued. On the other hand, this logic is not institutionalized in the same way as practices induced by the logic of care production and the logic of care education.


The paper may be of value to scholars and practitioners in clinical education, as well as to health educational policy makers. The findings focus on paradoxes produced by conflicting logics in practice, thus offering new reflections and alternative sensemaking of well-known problems connected to clinical education.



The authors declare no conflict of interest.


Lehn-Christiansen, S. and Holen, M. (2019), "Logics of care in clinical education", Journal of Organizational Ethnography, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 268-278.



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