Negotiating a New Role in a Gendered Order: A Cultural Lens

  • Karen Golden‐Biddle
  • Trish Reay


This article examines how advocates for the nurse practitioner (NP) role negotiated its implementation in a large urban health system that differentiates nursing from medicine on the basis of gender. Using a cultural perspective, analyses show how advocates envisioned the NP role as liminal—neither traditional nursing nor medical—and as expanding the boundaries of nursing work through appropriation of some medical work. Four key negotiation strategies are profiled that advocates used to successfully implement and sustain this role in most settings. The conclusion examines whether and how this new role altered or maintained the gendered arrangements and more generally points to the significance of liminal phenomena in producing fundamental change.

Keywords: liminality, implementing change, negotiation strategies, culture

How to Cite:

Golden‐Biddle, K. & Reay, T., (2009) “Negotiating a New Role in a Gendered Order: A Cultural Lens”, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research 2(1), 31-41. doi:

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Published on
19 Jan 2009
Peer Reviewed