The Invisible Professionals : English School Nursery Nurses talk about their jobs
Views of 110 school nursery nurses working in an English midlands county were studied to discover how they assess the nature and demands of their jobs. Two specific questions were asked: a) From nursery nurses' viewpoint, where do their main professional duties lie?; b) In the context of ongoing school reforms, what challenges do they believe they must meet to ensure their work is understood and valued? Data were collected through a piloted questionnaire, group and telephone interviews, with a preliminary identification of key issues gained at nationally organised Union meetings. Results were analysed through data and methodological triangulation. Findings and general conclusions confirm a need for nursery nurses' role-confusion to be eliminated, and present trends towards its de-professionalisation to be halted, through a public valuing and clarification of the nature of the nursery nurses' role in schools.