Syb Kuijper

Good nursing: exploring nursing practices and the valuation of nursing roles

Health Care Governance, Erasmus University Rotterdam,

Supervisors: Prof. Roland Bal, Dr. Iris Wallenburg, Dr. Martijn Felder


I received both my bachelor’s and master’s degree Sociology, with the specialization track Migration and Ethnic studies, from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I conducted ethnographic fieldwork for both my bachelor’s and master’s thesis. My master thesis was about the experiences and participation of social workers in a new integration course about fundamental Dutch norms and values, compulsory for non-Western migrants.

The organization of the courses is decentralized and organized by different local social organisations. In the thesis I described how professional and personal ethics of social workers structured professional participation and the different content and quality of the courses.

Summary PhD Project

In the project we explore different components of nursing work, the valuation of the profession among both nurses themselves and other stakeholders and how these different socio-technical practices of valuation evolve and interact. Particular attention is paid to the context and dominant discourses in which the professionalization of nursing work takes place. We address prevailing norms, values, (situated) practices and how good nursing is enacted in (micro) social systems. The first sub study is about unraveling the concept of clinical reasoning and the relation with crafting professional identities and good nursing work. Defining clinical reasoning is of importance to claim it as an integral dimension of various professional practices. Therefore, we aim to empirically scrutinize how clinical reasoning is done in practice and how different forms of clinical reasoning interact.
The second sub study is about how task differentiation and performances measurements structure daily practices and the (valuation of) nursing profession. We are interested in the local enactments and socially binding effects of standards and measurements. Hence, we focus on articulated and enacted knowledge, norms and values and how this relates to conceptions of good nursing and other (tacit) components of the profession.


Felder, M., Wallenburg, I., Kuijper, S., & Bal, R. (2020). Taking the Relationship Between Populism and Healthcare Seriously: A Call for Empirical Analysis Rather Than Moral Condemnation; Comment on “A Scoping Review of Populist Radical Right Parties’ Influence on Welfare Policy and its Implications for Population Health in Europe”. International Journal of Health Policy and Management.