Gary Rolfe

Swansea University, Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom

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Publications (42)40.56 Total impact

  • Article: Editorial.
    Gary Rolfe
    Nurse education today. 08/2014; 34(8):1135.
  • Gary Rolfe
    Journal of Clinical Nursing 03/2014; 23(5-6):892-3. · 1.32 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe, Lyn Gardner
    Nurse education today 01/2014; · 0.91 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe
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    ABSTRACT: Reflective practice has largely failed to live up to its promise of offering a radical critique of technical rationality and of ushering in a new philosophy of nursing practice and education. I argue in this paper that the failure lies not with the idea of reflective practice itself, but with the way in which it has been misunderstood, misinterpreted and misapplied by managers, theorists, educators and practitioners over the past two decades. I suggest that if reflective practice is to offer a credible alternative to the current technical-rational evidence-based approach to nursing, then it needs to rediscover its radical origins in the work of John Dewey and Donald Schön. In particular, nurses need to look beyond their current fixation with reflection-on-action and engage fully with Schön's notion of the reflective practitioner who reflects in action through on-the-spot experimentation and hypothesis testing. Finally, the implications of this radical approach to reflective practice are developed in relation to the practice of nursing, education and scholarship, where they are applied to the challenge of resolving what Rittel and Webber refer to as 'wicked problems'.
    Nurse education today 01/2014; · 0.91 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe
    Nurse education today 11/2013; · 0.91 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe
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    ABSTRACT: The academy is in a mess. The cultural theorist Bill Readings claimed that it is in ruins, while the political scientist Michael Oakeshott suggested that it has all but ceased to exist. At the very least, we might argue that the current financial squeeze has distorted the University into a shape that would be all but unrecognizable to Oakeshott and others writing in the 1950s and 1960s. I will begin this paper by tracing the development of the modern Enlightenment University over the past 200 years from its roots in late 18th century Berlin to its current predicament. I will then turn my attention to the introduction during the 1990s of nursing education into the University, and examine the particular difficulties and tensions encountered at the interface between a professional practice and an academic discipline. Finally, I will propose philosophy as a way of dwelling in the ruins of the Enlightenment University and of reconciling the corporate demands of the University with the obligations of the nursing profession.
    Nursing Philosophy 01/2013; 14(1):28-37. · 0.88 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe
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    ABSTRACT: Cardinal John Henry Newman's book, The Idea of a University, first published in the mid nineteenth century, is often invoked as the epitome of the liberal Enlightenment University in discussions and debates about the role and purpose of nurse education. In this article I will examine Newman's book in greater detail and with a more critical eye than is generally the case in the writing of nurse academics. In particular, I will focus on the claims that Newman was a champion of the Enlightenment University of the nineteenth century, that he promoted the idea of 'disinterested' universal knowledge for its own sake, that he was an early advocate of the pursuit of knowledge through scientific research, and the supposition that he would have welcomed the discipline of nursing into the University. In each case, I will suggest that these claims are based on an extremely selective reading of Newman's work. I will conclude by employing the example of practice development to propose an alternative way for nursing to find its place in the modern University that does not involve a retreat into what I will argue is an outdated and nostalgic view of the aims and purpose of higher education.
    Nursing Inquiry 06/2012; 19(2):98-106. · 1.03 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe
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    ABSTRACT: Michael Oakeshott warned in 1950 that the very existence of the university as a place of learning and scholarship was under threat from corporate interests, and that the provision of education was being replaced by the sale of qualifications. By the end of the century, Bill Readings had pronounced that the university was in ruins, just as nurse education in the UK was making the move into higher education. It is against this backdrop of a corporate university sector that is increasingly coming to resemble a fast-food business that nurse academics are struggling to assert their values and make a difference to nursing practice through education, research and scholarship. As it becomes ever more difficult to make our way in the university with any degree of integrity, this paper offers some thoughts and suggests some strategies for not only surviving in the corporate university, but for thriving both personally and professionally in ways that do not compromise our commitments and values as healthcare professionals and human beings. It is offered as a personal reflection, based on nearly 40 years of experiences in UK universities, firstly as a student and latterly as a lecturer and a professor of nursing. As such, it is delivered from a particular geographical and disciplinary perspective, the only perspective I can talk from with any real authority and authenticity. However, I believe that these ideas, thoughts and suggestions can be applied with a degree of success to other healthcare disciplines in other parts of the world.
    Nurse education today 04/2012; 32(7):732-6. · 0.91 Impact Factor
  • Lyn Gardner, Gary Rolfe
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    ABSTRACT: It might appear odd or even perverse to be arguing for the essay as a vehicle for academic thought and writing, particularly given the current emphasis on scientific research and evidence-based practice. In fact, the scholarly essay has virtually ceased to exist as an academic form in practice disciplines such as nursing, excluded by what we will identify and refer to as the hegemony of the laboratory. In a practical as well as an intellectual attempt to reinstate it, this paper is structured in the form of two consecutive short essays. In the first, we identify the character, features and purpose of the scholarly essay and examine its demise as an academic form. In the second, we explore some possible reasons why the essay never became fully accepted as an academic form in nursing. We suggest that the essay is thematically eclectic and stylistically promiscuous, drawing from a broad range of cultural, disciplinary and academic reference points. As such, it presents a challenge to the dominant technical rational approach to academic nursing in both its form and its content, particularly in its disregard for the rigidly imposed genres and structures increasingly demanded by academic nursing journals.
    Nurse education today 11/2011; · 0.91 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Gary Rolfe
    Nurse education today 09/2011; 32(3):195-6. · 0.91 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe
    Journal of Clinical Nursing 08/2011; 20(15-16):2371-3. · 1.32 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe
    Nurse education today 02/2011; 31(2):115-6. · 0.91 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe
    Nurse education today 11/2010; 30(8):703-4. · 0.91 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe
    Nurse education today 11/2010; 30(8):705-6. · 0.91 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe
    Nurse education today 09/2009; · 0.91 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe
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    ABSTRACT: Nursing is a relatively young academic discipline which only moved en masse into the higher education sector in many countries during the 1990s. Perhaps in a bid to enhance and accelerate its credibility, the nursing academy has embraced the values and practices of evidence-based medicine and the associated 'gold-standard' experimental research paradigm as its dominant discourse. Empirical scientific research has become the most valued and highly rewarded activity for nurse academics to pursue, and the tenets and standards of research have come to define the entire academic project of nursing. As a result, there has been a gradual shift from nursing as an academic discipline founded on scholarship to one based on research. Research is no longer seen as merely one aspect of the scholarly work expected of an academic, and is now often regarded as the main (and sometimes the only) activity necessary to gain promotion. I argue in this paper for a more positive view of scholarship; indeed, that scholarly activity is both the foundation and the creative driver of the academy. I suggest that the 'gold-standard' academic output of the research report is restricted in the contribution it is able to make to the development of the discipline of nursing, and that a far broader and more critical academic base is required. Whilst empirical research supplies the basic building blocks of the discipline, it is critical and creative scholarship that provides the plans and designs that turn these piles of bricks into useful structures.
    Nurse education today 07/2009; 29(8):816-20. · 0.91 Impact Factor
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    Gary Rolfe, Ruth Davies
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    ABSTRACT: This paper traces the increase in number and diversity of professional doctorates over the last two decades and discusses the evolution from first to second generation doctorates as a response to the rise of the knowledge economy and new understandings of knowledge-production. Distinctions between first and second generation doctorates are interpreted in the light of Gibbons et al. [Gibbons, M., Limoges, C., Nowotny, H., Schwartzman, S., Scott, P., Trow, M., 1994. The New Production of Knowledge: The Dynamics of Science and Research in Contemporary Societies. Sage, London] taxonomy of knowledge-production, and it is argued that second generation doctorates, based on Mode 2 knowledge-production, are not only relevant to the economy but also have the potential to transform practice. However, as this paper highlights, this reconceptualisation of the professional doctorate presents particular challenges to academia and the discipline of nursing, which centre upon the threats posed to the power and authority of the University by the radical nature of Mode 2 knowledge generation and application in the workplace. Implications of these threats are discussed in relation to the current debate about the rigour of professional doctorates and the call by some for a return to the traditional doctorate or PhD. We conclude that the discipline of nursing has much to gain from embracing, rather than retreating from, the challenges posed by second generation professional doctorates, and that these offer an alternative but no less academically sound education in preparing nurses to pay a full and active role at the theory-practice interface.
    International journal of nursing studies 06/2009; 46(9):1265-73. · 1.91 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Gary Rolfe
    International journal of nursing studies 06/2009; 46(8):1156-8; author reply 1159-60. · 1.91 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe
    Nurse education in practice 05/2009; 9(5):294-6.
  • Source
    Ruth E Davies, Gary Rolfe
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    ABSTRACT: Although the discipline of nurse education within the UK has been part of the higher education sector since the 1950s, relatively few nurse academics currently hold a doctorate. This has implications at a national, local and personal level, and can be partly accounted for by the particular demographic and work issues faced by nurse academics, together with issues about the nature of the traditional PhD itself as a suitable and relevant qualification in the discipline of nurse education. As an alternative, we suggest a route to a PhD that takes advantage of the regulations already in place in many Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) for a 'staff doctorate' by publication and which has been set up to accredit academic staff who have a corpus of published papers. In addition to this retrospective PhD by publication we also suggest that that the prospective route to a PhD by publication be promoted, based on established programmes in Europe and Australia. We argue that both routes address many of the issues and difficulties faced by nurse academics, their HEIs and the discipline generally and are relevant to other countries in the developed world as well as the UK. Promotion of these routes will give individual tutors and lecturers the opportunity for academic, professional and personal development within their own organisation and at the same time enable HEIs within the developed world to increase their overall performance in the next Research Excellence Framework (or equivalent depending on their country), thus enhancing the standing and reputation of nursing as an academic discipline.
    Nurse education today 03/2009; 29(6):590-4. · 0.91 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

329 Citations
40.56 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2005–2014
    • Swansea University
      • College of Human and Health Sciences
      Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom
  • 2005–2007
    • University of Wales
      • School of Health Sciences
      Cardiff, WLS, United Kingdom
  • 1996
    • University of Portsmouth
      Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom