New on the job: Relevance-making and assessment practices of interactional competences in young nurses' hospital telephone calls

Young female nurse talking on the phone 

Project summary

This project studies the deployment of young nursing graduates' interactional competences during the first six months of their employment at a hospital.
To know more about this subproject, click on another question above.

This project focuses on a specific activity: the telephone calls between the young nurse and members of the hospital's staff for the purpose of coordinating care. This subproject aims to answer four interconnected questions: 

  • How does the sequential production of care-coordination telephone calls make specific interactional competences relevant? 
  • How are the young nurses’ competences assessed through the telephone-calls? 
  • How do the interactional competences' relevance-making and assessment practices transform over the first six months of the nurses’ employment? 
  • How do these relevance-making and assessment practices feature in other institutional activities studied in the framework of the IC-You project?

To know more about this subproject, click on another question above.

In terms of methodology, this project adopts the approach of conversation analysis, based on the collection, detail transcription and sequential analysis of recordings of natural conversations. The specificity of the project is to include longitudinal and comparative analysis of conversational data. The project also comprises collecting ethnographic data on the work of the young nurses through document research, on-site observations, informal interviews as well as debriefing sessions with the young nurses regarding their telephone conversations. Finally, we will perform comparative analysis between the young nurses' conversations and other institutional interactions studied in the framework of the IC-You project.

To know more about this subproject, click on another question above.


This project contributes to literature on the transition from school to the working world, with focus on the work interactions through which the young person concretely and progressively becomes proficient at his or her job. The longitudinal and comparative study of the interactional competences' relevance-making and assessment practices - and of the social representations involved - represents the project's original scientific contribution to the analysis of interactions in institutional settings. Its practical importance lies in providing a detailed understanding of how a specific workplace activity is accomplished, as well as how the young nurses adjust to their institutional partners' relevancies, this understanding serving as a basis for new training and staff integration measures. The project adds to the other studies of the IC-You project, which address earlier steps in the young people's pathways - steps in which the competences that will later be solicited in beginning a position are first deployed. It thus completes the IC-You project by studying interactional competences - as situated productions of the interaction - at the culminating moment of young people's integration in the workplace.
To know more about this subproject, click on another question above.
  • Clark, T. & Holmes, S. (2007). Fit for practice? An exploration of the development of newly qualified nurses using focus groups. International journal of nursing studies, 44(7), 1210-1220.
  • Gajo, L. (Ed.) (2004). Langue de l'hôpital, pratiques communicatives et pratiques de soins. Cahiers de l'ILSL, (16).
  • Gerrish, K. (2000). Still fumbling along? A comparative study of the newly qualified nurse's perception of the transition from student to qualified nurse. Journal of advanced nursing, 32(2), 473-480.
  • Hellermann, J. (2008). Social actions for classroom language learning. Clevedon: Multilingual matters.
  • Holland, K. (1999). A journey to becoming. The student nurse in transition. Journal of advanced nursing, 29(1), 229-236.
  • Hunter, C. et al. (2008). Learning how we learn. An ethnographic study in a neonatal intensive care unit. Journal of advanced nursing, 62(6), 657-664. 
  • Lanza, D. et al. (2001). L'intégration des nouvelles infirmières dans les unités de soins d'un hôpital universitaire. Recherche en soins infirmiers, (65), 53-82.
  • Lee, Y.-A. (2010). Learning in the contingency of talk-in-interaction. Text and Talk, 30(4), 403-422.
  • Lurie, E. E. (1981). Nurse practitioners. Issues in professional socialization. Journal of health and social behavior, 22(1), 31-48.
  • Maben, J. & Macleod Clark, J. (1998). Project 2000 diplomates' perceptions of their experiences of transition from student to staff nurse. Journal of clinical nursing, 7(2), 145-153.
  • Maben, J. et al. (2006). The theory-practice gap. Impact of professional-bureaucratic work conflict on newly-qualified nurses. Journal of advanced nursing, 55(4), 465-477.
  • Markee, N. (2008). Toward a learning behavior tracking methodology for CA-for-SLA. Applied linguistics, 29(3), 404-427.
  • Marquier, R. & Idmachiche, S. (2006). Les professions de santé et leurs pratiques. Les trois premières années de carrière des infirmières de la génération 2001. Solidarité et santé, (1), 35-50.
  • Mondada, L. (2006). La compétence comme dimension située et contingente, localement évaluée par les participants. Bulletin suisse de linguistique appliquée, (84), 83-119.
  • O'Shea, M. & Kelly, B. (2007). The lived experiences of newly qualified nurses on clinical placement during the first six months following registration in the Republic of Ireland. Journal of clinical nursing, 16(8), 1534-1542.
  • Pekarek Doehler, S. (2006). Compétence et langage en action. Bulletin suisse de linguistique appliquée, (84), 9-45.
  • Price, S. L. (2009). Becoming a nurse. A meta-study of early professional socialization and career choice in nursing. Journal of advanced nursing, 65(1), 11-19.
  • Sidnell, J. (Ed.) (2009). Conversation analysis. Comparative perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University press.
  • Zimmerman, D. H. (1999). Horizontal and vertical comparative research in language and social interaction. Research on language and social interaction, 32(1-2), 195-203.
To know more about this subproject, click on another question above.

Team members