This study examined hospital-based nurses’ experiences of structurational divergence. I used a semi-structured narrative approach to interview 10 hospital-based nurses and data was analyzed using phenomenological methods. This resulted in the identification of the following three themes, which capture instances of structurational divergence and resulting interpersonal, intrapersonal, and organizational conflicts: Managing Overload, Identifying and Negotiating Boundaries, and Substituting and Advocating. I also discovered an additional theme, Eating their Young.. Results have implications for future research in health and organizational communication and reflect the importance of research into the communication between and amongst nurses, patients, and physicians and the impact of that communication on patient health outcomes.


Structurational Divergence, Nurses, Health Communication, Health Care Organizations, Qualitative Methods.

Author Bio(s)

LaKesha Anderson is Assistant Director for Academic and Professional Affairs at the National Communication Association and adjunct faculty at the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences Advanced Academic Programs at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: LaKesha Anderson, National Communication Association, Washington, DC 20036. Email: landerson@natcom.org

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