Joy Van Kleef

PLAR: Finding Quality in the Dynamics of Social Practice

Joy Van Kleef


This article discusses some of the implications of a recent case study on quality in PLAR for immigrant nurses to Canada. The results reveal complex relations within and across the nursing profession's communities of practice and communities of interest that operate as vehicles for negotiating shared understandings and power. Immigrant nurses who bring knowledge acquired in cultures and educational systems unfamiliar to Canadian authorities stand outside the periphery of the nursing community without a place or voice in the discourse. The author concludes that PLAR can provide a means of giving them voice if nursing stakeholders negotiate a shared understanding of the quality of the process. The author recommends that Baartman et al.'s (2007) quality criteria and concept of assessment in education be explored as a quality framework for anchoring PLAR in nursing registration.

Keywords: Prior learning, nursing, quality criteria, community of practice

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