Role theory: A framework to investigate the community nurse role in contemporary health care systems

Kim Brookes, Patricia M. Davidson, John Daly, Elizabeth J. Halcomb

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Nurses' perceptions of their role are influenced by societal attitudes, government policies and trends in professional issues. Dynamic factors in contemporary health environments challenge traditional nursing roles, in particular those of community nurses. Role theory is a conceptual framework that defines how individuals behave in social situations and how these behaviours are perceived by external observers. This paper reviews the role theory literature as a conceptual framework to explore community nurses' perceptions of their role.Three theoretical perspectives of role theory have emerged from the literature review: (i) social structuralism; (ii) symbolic interactionism; and (iii) the dramaturgical perspective. These philosophical perspectives provide a useful framework to investigate the role of community nurses in the contemporary health care system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-155
Number of pages10
JournalContemporary Nurse
Volume25
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Community nurses
  • Conceptual framework
  • Models of care
  • Role theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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