Multiple Lenses: Rural Landscape through the Eyes of Nurse Preceptors and Students

Olive Yonge, Florence Myrick, Linda Ferguson, Quinn Grundy


In a recent photovoice study, fourth year nursing students and their rural nurse preceptors provided us with photographs and commentary documenting their everyday, lived realities, from which we constructed a narrative of preceptorship in the rural nursing context. We found that rural nursing integrates professional and community values, and that landscape mediates this integration in four ways: travel, occupationalism, historicity, and symbolic projection. Rural preceptorships introduce nursing students to dichotomous perceptions of landscape, derived from rural nurses' multiple roles and the competing scripts of official policy versus community bonds. Disseminated in media-rich formats such as exhibitions, photo-essays and online resources, these findings amount to a compelling message to prospective rural nurses, educators, and policymakers: rural nursing is a specialty, too long marginalized, with its own unique challenges and rewards.

Keywords: landscape, rural, nursing, preceptorship, Gemeinschaft, photovoice

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The Journal of Rural and Community Development is supported by SSHRC.