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Theory and Knowledge Development in Nursing - Article Example

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Theory and Knowledge Development in Nursing

While patient cases will have similarities, each case is also uniquely different and may require a different process of determining solutions. A patient is inherently individualistic, based on social and economic factors as well as the type of illness involved. What may work for one patient, may not work for another patient, due to differing circumstances of age, eating habits, social structure and economic environment such as working status or for those who are unemployed. Nursing morals and ethics will also come into play when confronted with issues of insurance coverage and what solutions are available as defined by the coverage, if there is any coverage. Consequently, right answers in one case may not be right in another, based on principles which are not always absolute (Nourreddine, 2001). Nursing Theory as a Guide for Knowledge When evaluating nursing knowledge, nurses will ask themselves what they know; what the extent of that knowledge is, based on how that knowledge is attained through various methods, and whether it is appropriate. Epistemology is the term used for the study in the theory of knowledge which has several basic types. Empiric knowledge is developed through scientific observations, suitable testing and ability to replicate and validate the information. Personal (priori) knowledge is attained from thought processes alone. Intuitive knowledge comes from feelings and hunches that come from unconscious recognition of experiences or patterns as known from previous experiences or by some type of educational process. Somatic knowledge is experience attained from a physical experience which becomes a learned process through conducting physical tasks. Ballet dancers and gymnasts are great examples of those with somatic knowledge. Metaphysical knowledge which is a spiritual precept of knowledge gained by acknowledging a higher power other than ourselves through religious practices, miracles, extrasensory perceptions, near-death experiences, and other conventions which are not scientifically proven, at least not currently. Esthetics is the knowledge of beauty and harmony, expression through creativity and art, and development of values which sustains these. Finally, moral and ethical knowledge is based on the concepts of what is considered right and wrong, based on social values and surrounding environment (McEwen & Wills, 2010). In nursing knowledge, it is not based simply on the scientific proof, but also on the social and behavioral sciences as well and, therefore, nurses rely on multiple genres of knowing. Carper (1978) presented four fundamental basic concepts which applied to nursing knowledge: empirics as the scientific form of knowledge, esthetics, personal knowledge and ethics. Empirical knowledge is gained through laws and theories which describe, explain and predict various phenomena, based on factual evidence (Carper, 1978; Carper, 1992; McEwen & Wills, 2010). This would be most evident in clinical practice conducted within the environment of the emergency department because split-second decisions must be made and they can only happen when there is enough knowledge from structural theory and from experience gained through other case experiences of trauma and sudden illnesses. Personal knowledge is ga ...Show more


Abstract This paper is a study on nursing as a guide for nursing knowledge and how it applies to a nursing setting such as in emergency departments where stress and trauma are a daily occurrence. The paper addresses the metaparadigm of nursing, how it links to the emergency department structure of operations, and how it affects the philosophy of nursing in a practice setting…
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Theory and Knowledge Development in Nursing essay example
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