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Print version ISSN 1657-5997


ANN SEAGO, Jean. Autonomy: A Realistic Goal for the Practice of Hospital Nursing?. Aquichan [online]. 2006, vol.6, n.1, pp.92-103. ISSN 1657-5997.

Autonomy can be defined as independence or freedom. When it is used to describe individual work, it refers to the ability to make decisions without undue influence from others. The purpose of this paper is to critique two models of autonomy, one developed from the discipline of occupational health, and one developed from the discipline of nursing. These models potentially provide insight to the work of nurses in hospitals. Additionally, this paper will explore the possibility of applying these traditional western models to cultures and countries other than the US, Europe, and Australia. The question of whether a hospital nurse can be autonomous is complicated by the structure of the society in which the work of the nurse exists and the barriers produced by those structures. In order for nurses and women to exercise more autonomy in work settings, powerful members of the society must acknowledge the reality of the under valued status of women and women’s work and allow for a greater exercise of discretion by women.

Keywords : Nurse; women; autonomy; hospital; work.

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