‘Nurse entrepreneurs’ a case of government rhetoric?
Introduction: Nursing has come to play a prominent role in government health policy since 1997. Extending the scope of nursing practice into activities previously carried out by doctors can assist a managerialist and ‘modernizing’ project of increasing National Health Service (NHS) efficiency by removing demarcations between professional groups. Methods: Drawing on elements of poststructuralist linguistics, this paper presents an analysis of a key government speech in the context of a discussion of overall policy intentions. Results: The speech can be seen as an example of how government has attempted to use rhetoric to make its goals attractive to nurses. Conclusion: Policy-makers have to make their policies acceptable to those whom they expect to implement them. In this case, organizational efficiency, chiefly in terms of broader access to NHS services, as well as role substitution, is aligned with government policy promoting social enterprise and ‘sold’ to the nursing profession as enhancing its status compared with medicine.