'A salutary lesson': male nurses and the Nursing and Midwifery Council

Mathers, Benjamin Jacob (2019) 'A salutary lesson': male nurses and the Nursing and Midwifery Council. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis is the first sociological examination of sex-based differences in referral and outcome for nurses that are subject to Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Fitness-to-Practise (FtP) hearings. Despite male nurses only accounting for 10.8% of the nursing population in 2017, they also accounted for 23.8% of all those referred to the NMC over concerns about their conduct and 36.6% of all those struck-off as a result (NMC, 2017b). To date there has only been a limited number of sociological studies that have analysed the regulation of healthcare professionals in the UK (Currie et al., 2018). This research therefore helps fills a gap in the current sociological literature concerning both male nurses and the way that nurses are regulated in the UK.

This was achieved by analysing the NMC FtP process through non-participant observations of NMC FtP hearings and the documentary analysis of the official hearing reports produced by NMC FtP panels that outline their decision. This observational fieldwork took place over a twelve-month period and was followed by the documentary analysis of one-month of official hearing documents produced by NMC FtP panels.

The findings of this research suggest that the quasi-legal nature of NMC FtP hearings is problematic for registrants when defending themselves against allegations. There also appears to be certain types of misconduct that male and female nurses are potentially more likely to commit. This research found that there is a highly prescriptive form of remediation required in order to remedy one’s misconduct. The expression of emotion (or lack of expression) appears to play a key role in remediation and potentially contributes to male nurses being more likely to be struck-off compared to female nurses. The role of public interest was also examined and was found to potentially influence both the transparency present in the NMC FtP process and the subsequent outcomes of NMC FtP hearings. The findings of this research suggest that the current model of state sanctioned bureaucratic regulation of healthcare professionals (Waring et al., 2010) may possibly contribute towards the over-representation of male nurses in the NMC statistics.

These findings contribute to the current knowledge on the role of male nurses in the nursing profession, the professional regulation of nurses and the wider knowledge concerning the sociology of health in this otherwise under researched. This thesis concludes by offering itself as a potential resource for reflection upon the current processes of nursing regulation in the UK.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Pilnick, Alison
Edgley, Alison
Keywords: male nurses; Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Fitness-to-Practise (FtP) hearings; nursing regulation, Great Britain
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Sociology and Social Policy
Item ID: 59412
Depositing User: Mathers, Benjamin
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2020 08:33
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 09:33
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/59412

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