How competency standards became the preferred national technology for classifying nursing performance in Australia
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Objective: The aim of this study was to explore how competency standards came to be the preferred technology for classifying and nursing performance in Australia at the end of the 20th century. Design: A genealogical approach to the history of the development of the Australian Nurse Regulatory Authorities Conference (ANRAC) Competencies (1990) is adopted. Setting: The setting is Australia during the period of 1975 to 1990. Subjects: Data was collected from minutes of ANRAC meetings, including ANRAC Competencies Committee meetings, government reports, a review of the literature on nurse assessment and competence, and interviews with five nurse leaders involved with the competencies development or regulation during this period. Main outcome measure: Description of how competency standards came to be the preferred technology for classifying nursing performance in Australia. Results: The emergence of a national competency standards technology is closely associated with the transfer of nursing education into the higher education sector, an expected shortage of skilled nurses, and microeconomic reform intended to position Australia as a world leader in a global economy. Through skilled rhetoric, nurse leaders established the need for national competency standards to address the issues confronting diverse social worlds while advancing the professional status of nursing through competency standards design. Conclusion: The national nursing competency standards is a technology that addressed the confluent concerns of those interested in the social worlds of nursing education, nursing research, occupational regulation, professional guilds, and national economic productivity thereby privileging it among instruments to classify nurse performance.
Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing
© 2012 Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Nursing not elsewhere classified