Transition from clinician to academic: An interview study of the experiences of UK and Australian registered nurses

Patricia A. Logan, David Gallimore, Sue Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: The aim of this study was to explore and compare the experiences of nurses in Australia and the UK as they moved from clinical practice into higher education institutions.
Background: When nurse education moved from hospitals into higher education institutions, the roles and career pathways of nurse educators changed.
Design: The design method used in this study was qualitative interview study.
Methods: Semi‐structured interviews were undertaken with 14 nurse educators, seven in Australia and seven in the UK, in 2011–2012. Thematic analysis of the transcripts was undertaken and triangulated with automated content and thematic analysis by Leximancer© software.
Findings: Nurse academics in Australia and the UK voiced similar enthusiasms and concerns. These coalesced around four emergent themes: adapting to change, external pressures, teaching and progress up the academic ladder. The Leximancer© analysis for both sites ranked ‘research’ as the primary theme, linked with ‘time’, ‘University’ and ‘nursing’ on both sites. Respondents were aware of the importance of research to career progression in universities, but most prioritized their teaching and clinical commitments for the sake of their organizations. Most respondents were supported in their doctoral studies, but the absence of postdoctoral research teams, mentors and role models was striking.
Conclusion: Additional support is needed to ensure that nurse academics are able to pursue research beyond doctoral level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-604
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number3
Early online date2015
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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