Intersectionality, governmentality and neoliberalism - a reality based framework for nurse education

Cook, Jane and Lewitt, Moira (2023). Intersectionality, governmentality and neoliberalism - a reality based framework for nurse education. In: 26th International Philosophy in Nursing Society (IPONS) Conference, 27-29 Sep 2023, Sydney, Australia.


Teaching and learning for undergraduate student nurses must therefore ensure that graduates are developing high level critical thinking aligned to graduate attributes. As a result, an increasing focus on phronesis has been apparent over the past decade within nurse education. Phronesis is achieved through developing embodiment, open-mindedness, perceptiveness, and reflexivity. Using these concepts alongside a conceptual framework developed during a recent doctoral research study a reality-based model of teaching and learning has been developed by the author. This model places the phronimos within the context of the current reality of neoliberalism, intersectionality, and the Foucauldian concept of governmentality.

Using these overarching concepts to frame teaching and learning allows students to begin a journey of Self discovery. Problem-based learning teaching methods and associated learning activities using the lenses of neoliberalism, intersectionality, and governmentality allows students to view their reality holistically which aligns to person-centred care, the main driver for delivery of care within health and social care globally. This holistic view also allows students to connect with the ongoing challenges within health and social care in relation to resources, systemic racism, whistle blowing and political shifts. Using the concept of intersectionality enables discussions on racism, oppression and discrimination placing these in the context of students’ own experiences personally and professionally. This also provides opportunities to discuss privilege and allyship within each associated teaching and learning activity.

It is anticipated that the results from the implantation of this model in terms of the Higher Education teaching and learning experience will foster graduate nurses who will be on their way to developing phronesis, moving them from future nurse to future phronimos: a nurse that is ready to deal with the current and ongoing challenges faced by health and social care.

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