Becoming and being an environmentally ‘woke’ nurse: A phenomenological study

Journal article


Terry, L, Bowman, K and West, R (2019). Becoming and being an environmentally ‘woke’ nurse: A phenomenological study. Nursing Outlook. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2019.04.011
AuthorsTerry, L, Bowman, K and West, R
Abstract

Background: Increasing numbers of nurses view environmental activism as part of their role. No studies have explored the reasons.

Aim: This study aimed to identify what awakened and shaped US and UK nurses’ environmental activism.
Design: A Gadamerian hermaneutic phenomenological study

Methods: Forty nurses were recruited in 2017 using purposive sampling (USA n = 23, UK n = 17). Four focus groups were followed by individual interviews. Iterative, fully-immersive phenomenological analysis was conducted with corroboration of themes and a final ‘shared horizon’.

Discussion: Participants described ‘lightbulb’ events whereby they recognized environmental threats to people and the planet. Their nursing-centered values of social justice, generational fairness and alleviating suffering underpinned a shared belief in their ability to help mitigate those threats. They believed it was their duty as nurses to take action on behalf of individuals, communities and the planet. Their nursing skillset makes for effective leadership and environmental activism.

KeywordsEnvironmental health; Ethics; Gadamerian hermaneutic phenomenology; Nurses; Environmental activism; Social justice
Year2019
JournalNursing Outlook
PublisherElsevier
ISSN1528-3968
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2019.04.011
Publication dates
Print28 May 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited01 May 2019
Accepted28 Apr 2019
Accepted author manuscript
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Open
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