We are currently featuring the article titled “Delineating Among Parenting Confidence, Parenting Self-Efficacy, and Competence” by Ashlee J. Vance, MA, RN, RNC-NIC and Debra H. Brandon, PhD, RN, CNS, FAAN (avaliable at no cost while it is featured!). Here is a message from Ms. Vance about her work:
“Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Christopher Robin
This quote reminds me of how I felt as a new neonatal nurse, of the parents I’ve interacted with in a NICU, and those babies in our care that would surprise you day by day with their will to survive.
Parent confidence is something all parents strive for; yet, often struggle with due to ongoing self-doubt. Then, if a parent
experiences having a baby who requires hospitalization after birth due to prematurity or a life-threatening diagnosis; how in the world do they gain confidence in the hospital environment? This is my starting point. This question guides how I practiced at the bedside and how I interacted with parents, and how I develop my program of research. In the process of writing this manuscript, I discovered the language to help me describe why I was so passionate being a neonatal researcher. I wanted to understand parent confidence because I believe (and there is research to support) this could lead to happier, healthier parents and babies.
In this paper, it was important for me to clearly operationalize parent confidence to provide a foundation for the concept itself and identify is as separate from other commonly used terms. With this foundation, we can better understand the current literature to compare results and inform future research. As I continue to understand this dynamic human process, I foresee future results guiding interventions and strategies to enhance the hospital environment, ultimately impacting infant health and developmental outcomes.
This week we introduce a new “Editor’s Pick” article titled “Intellectual Curiosity: A Principle-Based Concept Analysis” by Bedelia Russell, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC, CNE. She has shared the background about her work with us, providing insight into the influences on her thinking including her daughter’s drawing!
If someone had told me when I began doctoral work I would not only contribute to ANS but also participate in the ANS blog, I would have questioned their sanity. I am so honored to be among all these other respected contributors. I began my doctoral work in 2010 following nine years of work as a fulltime faculty… I was the last Master’s prepared nurse to be tenured in our system so tenure was not a variable in my return to graduate school. Why then consider the daunting task of PhD work? When I reflect back, I guess I am guilty of the very subject of my article… intellectual curiosity. Around me… everyone was going back to school… newer faculty with eyes on tenure had made the commitment and I was continuing on in my role as a well-respected educator. But the pressure was there… internally, some external… to join in, and admittedly, I was curious. Could I do the work? How would I balance family? Would I finish? How would I continue to do my job… my job … it was then it hit me… my pull towards PhD work, my motivation, was my job… I had hit a plateau in course redesign and I was asking questions and approaching nursing education with questions that no one around me could answer. It occurred to me that maybe doctoral study would help with those questions and provide new insights into my practice of nursing education.
Intellectual curiosity is something I have for many years evaluated baccalaureate students on… they either demonstrated it or they did not… and I knew what that looked like. So when my first concepts class in my doctoral program required a concept analysis, my cohort talked me into analysis of intellectual curiosity. I remember us all trying to decide on our concept and throwing out ideas to each other. When intellectual curiosity was suggested, it was followed by my peers adding, that should “be easy” and there should be “plenty of information out there.” I have both thanked them and cursed them since those days of convincing me but would not for one day regret the path that seemingly simple decision has led me down.
My work so far has revealed two things. The first is concept analysis that can provide context and understanding of the existing state of the concept is important to advance the science of our discipline. It is in part why I utilized a principle-based concept analysis method. I do not believe it is enough to simply breakdown a concept into its elements… we need to take that concept and look at it from multiple perspectives… multiple disciplines… and then see how our discipline can utilize it. The second revelation is that while I knew what intellectual curiosity looked like… albeit, merely from my perspective… I was unaware of the possible influencing variables and potential consequences for intellectual curiosity.
I am now intrigued with the role it seems motivation has in relation to curiosity. I am left to wonder what our role should be as nurse educators in influencing and modeling the concept of intellectual curiosity and can we perpetuate curiosity once is has occurred.
An important lesson from our first semester philosophy class was to determine our philosophy of science. It was an arduous discovery of finding out I aligned with interpretive inquiry, specifically with Heidegger’s assertions on phenomenology. This view was cemented in a drawing my youngest daughter made at that time, included here.
When I asked my four year old daughter where her eyes, nose, and mouth were, her response was “Mommy, I am looking at the clouds…. You are looking at the back of my head.” This picture is now a bit faded but still hangs on my wall beside my desk. It serves as a reminder on the importance of context, history, and multiple perspectives… something important in examination of the concept of intellectual curiosity in my work ahead. Going forward, my dissertation will look at intellectual curiosity from the perspectives of educators who teach in online learning environments. I welcome your comments on my current work and am both humbled and appreciative of this opportunity for dialogue.
You can download a copy of this article now, while it is featured on the ANS web site! Then, leave your comments here to discuss your thoughts with the author!
Concept analysis continues to be a cornerstone of many doctoral programs, but as important as this activity is, very few reach a level of development that is suitable for publication. The current featured article, titled “Concept Analysis: Method to Enhance Interdisciplinary Conceptual Understanding” explains an approach to concept analysis that can enhance the quality and worth of this very important activity. The author of this article, Susan Bonis, has one of the best explanations about “why” this is so important, and has provided this interesting background about her work:
It is an honor to have this article published in ANS. This method of concept analysis is a critical component of work related to understanding, defining and describing the foundation of nursing knowledge: What is nursing? What is the unique contribution of nursing to the health care arena? What is nursing research? What is nursing knowledge? Although these are not new questions, they are questions that arise almost daily. How do we respond?
This method of concept analysis is one means to provide clarification to these questions. A previous article, Knowing in Nursing: A Concept Analysis (Bonis, 2009, JAN, 65(6)) provided interesting insight to nursing knowledge, as well as to the knowledge base of other disciplines. According to the findings of that concept analysis, the essence of nursing is personal knowing, or the individual experience of health and illness, of medicine is technical/procedural knowing, and of behavioral health is knowing as a cognitive process. As you can see from the findings of this study, the knowledge base of each discipline is unique; therefore, the contribution of each discipline to the health care arena is unique.
Understanding how concepts are used within disciplines is critically important for nurse researchers, who tend to ‘borrow’ research instruments from other disciplines. How a concept is understood and used in nursing is not necessarily the same as how that concept is understood and used in other disciplines. For example, the Empathy Quotient was developed by Simon Baron-Cohen (psychologist) as a diagnostic tool to differentiate between the cognitive processes related to empathy in normal-functioning adults and those with Asperger’s syndrome. Although it is a beautiful tool and very useful for diagnostic purposes, it would not be appropriate for a nurse researcher interested in understanding more about empathy as a personal experience for nursing student to use the Empathy Quotient. To do so would be a contribution to the foundation of knowledge for behavioral science, not to the foundation of nursing knowledge.
I experienced a similar situation in seeking to understand more about contentment as a quality of life for parents of children on the autism spectrum. Four research instruments focused on contentment have been developed in the behavioral sciences; each one is a diagnostic tool to measure the cognitive processes that describe depression. It would be inappropriate for me to use any one of those instruments, even though they clearly are used to measure contentment. The conceptual understanding of contentment varies greatly between nursing and behavioral science. Behavioral science uses contentment as a short term cognitive response to events in the moment. In nursing, contentment is used to describe a way of being that evolves over time; a phenomenon at a much higher level of abstraction (but then again, that brings us to another discussion related to phenomenological issues in nursing research. We’ll save that for future discussion!).
What are your thoughts on concept analysis prior to instrument selection? Are we contributing to the knowledge base of another discipline when we borrow research instruments? What about interdisciplinary collaboration? What are the challenges?
Thank you for reading the article! I hope to dialogue on this critical matter in nursing research.