Gary Rolfe

Swansea University, Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom

Are you Gary Rolfe?

Claim your profile

Publications (81)96.24 Total impact

  • Gary Rolfe
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The professions of nursing and nurse education are currently experiencing a crisis of confidence, particularly in the UK, where the Francis Report and other recent reviews have highlighted a number of cases of nurses who no longer appear willing or able to ‘care’. The popular press, along with some elements of the nursing profession, has placed the blame for these failures firmly on the academy and particularly on the relatively recent move to all-graduate status in England for pre-registration student nurses. This has come to be known in the UK as the ‘too-posh-to-wash’ argument, that there is an incommensurability between being educated to degree level and performing basic nursing tasks. I will argue in this paper that the diagnosis of the problem is substantively correct, but the formulation and the prescription are misguided and dangerous. I will suggest that the growing emphasis on research-based and evidence-based practice is the logical conclusion of an inappropriate scientific paradigm for nursing which is underpinned by the social sciences, by technical rationality, and by a focus on people. In contrast, I will suggest that a more fruitful way of thinking about and practising nursing and nurse education is to consider it as a human science with a focus on persons in which evidence for practice derives largely from practice itself. The history of the idea of a human science is traced from its roots in nineteenth century hermeneutics to the work of Gadamer and R.D. Laing in the 1960s, and I attempt to imagine a paradigm for nursing practice, scholarship, and education based on Laing's ‘existential–phenomenological’ approach with a focus on the endeavour to understand and relate to individual persons rather than to make broad prescriptions for practice based on statistical and other generalizations.
    Nursing Philosophy 12/2014; 16(3). DOI:10.1111/nup.12075 · 0.64 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe
    Nurse Education Today 10/2014; 35(3). DOI:10.1016/j.nedt.2014.10.005 · 1.46 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe, Lyn D. Gardner
    Nursing Philosophy 09/2014; DOI:10.1111/nup.12068 · 0.64 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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 08/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.nedt.2014.03.006 · 1.46 Impact Factor
  • Article: Editorial.
    Gary Rolfe
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper describes and discusses an action research collaboration between a multi-disciplinary team of practice educators, a practice development nurse and a university lecturer in order to explore, evaluate and improve a dementia care training package developed for a range of staff providing care for people with dementia. Whilst it is recognised that the findings of this small evaluation study are only of local interest, we believe the approach we took to be of general use for other teams of practice educators as a way of exploring and evaluating their own practice. This paper will therefore focus mostly on the philosophy, methodology and conduct of the study, including our own reflections and learning as novice action researchers.
    Educational Action Research 07/2014; 22(3). DOI:10.1080/09650792.2013.872575
  • Source
    Gary Rolfe
    Journal of Clinical Nursing 03/2014; 23(5-6):892-3. DOI:10.1111/jocn.12535 · 1.23 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Gary Rolfe
    Journal of Clinical Nursing 01/2014; DOI:10.1111/jocn.12556 · 1.23 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe, Lyn Gardner
    Nurse education today 01/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.nedt.2014.01.005 · 1.46 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe
    Nurse education today 11/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.nedt.2013.11.003 · 1.46 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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. DOI:10.1111/j.1466-769X.2012.00551.x · 0.64 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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. DOI:10.1111/j.1440-1800.2011.00548.x · 1.05 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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. DOI:10.1016/j.nedt.2012.03.020 · 1.46 Impact Factor
  • Lyn Gardner, Gary Rolfe
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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; 33(1). DOI:10.1016/j.nedt.2011.10.009 · 1.46 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Gary Rolfe
    Nurse education today 09/2011; 32(3):195-6. DOI:10.1016/j.nedt.2011.08.016 · 1.46 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Gary Rolfe
    Journal of Clinical Nursing 08/2011; 20(15-16):2371-3. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2702.2010.03605.x · 1.23 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe
    Nurse education today 02/2011; 31(2):115-6. DOI:10.1016/j.nedt.2010.08.003 · 1.46 Impact Factor
  • G Rolfe
    Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 12/2010; 17(10):931-4. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2850.2010.01618.x · 0.98 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe
    Nurse education today 11/2010; 30(8):705-6. DOI:10.1016/j.nedt.2010.05.011 · 1.46 Impact Factor
  • Gary Rolfe
    Nurse education today 11/2010; 30(8):703-4. DOI:10.1016/j.nedt.2010.05.010 · 1.46 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

851 Citations
96.24 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2005–2014
    • Swansea University
      • College of Human and Health Sciences
      Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom
  • 2012
    • Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board
      Puerto Talbot, Wales, United Kingdom
  • 2005–2007
    • University of Wales
      • School of Health Sciences
      Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
  • 1993–2003
    • University of Portsmouth
      Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom
  • 1990–1993
    • Saint James School Of Medicine
      Park Ridge, Illinois, United States