An investigation into the roles and responsibilities of the nursery nurse in schools.
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff.
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The way a profession perceives itself is associated with its status. This is linked with how it is regarded by the society in which it functions. In an ideal school the role of the nursery nurse should be one of a professional partnership with the teacher, resulting in a strong, collaborative team. This study set out to investigate the role of the nursery nurse in schools today. In 1984 the title nursery assistant was altered to nursery nurse in the area where this small-scale research study was carried out, prior to the many developments and changes that have taken place within education and the training of the nursery nurse. The opinions and experiences of nursery nurses, teachers and headteachers were brought together through questionnaires and interviews. The information was then analysed and the main findings were that the role of the nursery nurse has changed as a result of the implementation of the National Curriculum (1988) and the Desirable Outcomes for Learning (1996). Nursery nurses are more directly involved with the monitoring and recording of children's progress. The responsibilities of the nursery nurse have increased although ultimate responsibility still remains with the class Teacher. The roles and responsibilities do vary from setting to setting. However, the wide range of skills and knowledge that a nursery nurse receives during training is utilized more fully as a result of nursery nurses' increased responsibilities. The need for professional updating and training courses specifìcally for qualified nursery nurses was highlighted. Throughout this research the nursery nurse is recognised as being an invaluable and professional member of the early years team.
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