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"In this paper we analyse aspects of the qualitative data from open-ended questions included in the RN Survey 2002. We discuss the changes wrought by New Public Management (NPM) in the Australian and WA health sectors. We argue that the requisites of NPM and managerialism are not necessarily consistent with the historical role of professionalism in the delivery of health care and of nursing as a health profession. In analysing the nurses’ qualitative responses, we use the framework from NPM and managerialism as a means to develop understanding of the issues and concerns expressed by nurses. The paper identifies three areas of dissonance: professional dissonance, career choice dissonance and ideological dissonance. It argues that, as a result, nurses emotionally and professionally resist what has been termed ‘the instrumental motivations of managerialism’."