Oppression in 21st century nursing

Linda K Matheson, Marquette University


That nurses are an oppressed group was first suggested by Roberts (1983) who surmised that nurses were oppressed by hospital administrators and physicians and that nurses subsequently developed oppressed group behaviors (OGB). Roberts' work has been embraced by the nursing community as an explanation for disparaging and detrimental behaviors of nurses; however, there is a paucity of systematic study substantiating Roberts' observations. The purpose of this study was to explore nurses' workplace stories to describe OGB that were consistent with Freire's (1970) framework, thereby answering the question " What oppressed group behaviors are present in nurses' workplace stories? " This qualitative, exploratory study used Lieblich, Mashiach, and Zilber's (1998) categorical-content methodology for narrative analysis. Participants were selected from nursing's most vulnerable population, new nursing graduates, as they are at greatest risk for leaving the profession and are key to abating a nursing shortage (Buerhaus, Staiger, & Auerbach, 2003). Data analysis revealed that OGB were present in participant narratives according to Freire's framework and new behaviors emerged. Implications and suggestions for future research are given for nursing practice, education, and research.

Recommended Citation

Matheson, Linda K, "Oppression in 21st century nursing" (2008). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI3306518.