Engaging with Nursing Theory

Posted on February 20, 2013 by

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The current featured article by Marjorie McIntyre, PhD, RN and Carol McDonald, PhD, RN offers a significant perspective on the importance of understanding nursing theory and its philosophic underpinnings in practice. Their article is titled: Contemplating the Fit and Utility of Nursing Theory and Nursing Scholarship Informed by the Social Sciences and Humanities. They draw on their own experiences in nursing education and practice to present a framework to guide philosophic explorations that strengthen nursing practice and nursing education. Dr. McIntyre gives some background related to their work:

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Marjorie McIntyre and Carol McDonald – photographer Robbyn Lanning

We were particularly thrilled to have this article published in the ANS as it is a reflection of three decades of curriculum work in nursing education and follows on and extends an earlier article published in the ANS in 1995. This article presents a philosophical framework as one possibility for organizing and interrogating knowledge, bringing together ontological assumptions of nursing with other vital epistemologies. While Carol and I have both been deeply influenced by the process of theorizing in our nursing practice, in more recent years we have come to see more clearly the place of philosophical thought in nursing. Indeed, the movement “beneath” theory, to philosophical underpinnings provides a way to more fully take up, to make meaningful the theoretical connections that are nursing practice. This opening from the extant nursing theories to broader philosophical underpinnings has created space to hold the meaning of theories from within and beyond the discipline, without relinquishing our disciplinary groundings. As nurses who have worked in highly interprofessional practice settings and have at times felt overshadowed by medicine or psychology, this work to express our theoretical situatedness, in a disciplinary sense has been closely connected to our experiences as nurses in practice and as nurse-educators.

While this article is featured, you can download and read the article!  Visit the ANS web site now and explore this and other articles in this issue!

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