Recently, the Australian Government has provided significant support for the expansion of Nurse Practitioner services in the community. As a result, the emerging role and ongoing retention of these professionals is an area for policy investigation. However, there is also a broader significance in the Nurse Practitioner role for which sociological perspectives can provide insight. Sociologists identify two key characteristics of late-modernism as the rise in service work and the emphasis on service worker knowledge as a commodity. This paper argues that the Nurse Practitioner role is an embodiment of these trends. Specifically, the paper considers the expanding Nurse Practitioner role as an example of the shifting boundaries between human care professionals. The paper argues that these changes point to a need for renewed consideration of identity, interaction, negotiation and emotion in relation to professional human care work. It concludes by considering conceptual resources that could support new sociological understandings of the Nurse Practitioner role in the future. © eContent Management Pty Ltd.
PROSSER, B., & Olson, R. (2013). Changes in professional human care work: The case of Nurse practitioners in Australia. Health Sociology Review, 22(4), 422-432. https://doi.org/10.5172/hesr.2013.22.4.422