Metaparadigms of Nursing

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Each professional discipline has a responsibility to identify concepts that provide a general description of the discipline. It is these concepts that comprise the profession’s metaparadigm (Fawcett, 1984). Much of the philosophy and theory of nursing stems from the work of Florence Nightingale. The diaries, letters, and books that she left behind containing her statements and beliefs have been fundamental to the development of the concepts comprising the nursing metaparadigm (Selanders, 2010). Fawcett’s (1984) stated there was a general consensus among scholars that the concepts of nursing were person, environment, health, and nursing. Some researchers have suggested that other concepts should be added to the nursing metaparadigm. For example, some have cited caring or social justice as core concepts (Fawcett, 1996; Johnstone, 2011). Social justice is a concept that has gained general acceptance as the fifth metaparadigm. For example, promoting justice is included in the Canadian Nurses Association's (CNA) Code of Ethics, where it indicates that nurses should uphold the principles of justice by fostering human rights, guarding equality and fairness and promoting public good (CNA, 2008). Schim, Benkert, Bell, Walker, and Danford (2006) specifically defined social justice as “ensuring distribution of life resources in a way that benefits the marginalized and constrains the self-interest of the privileged” (p. 73). In this paper, I will discuss these five accepted metaparadigms of nursing and illustrate each using examples from my own nursing practice. Person

The concept of person refers to the patient. However, the concept encourages nurses to view the person as a whole or multidimensional and not just as a condition or diagnosis. Person may also include patient’s families or social groups that help shape and define them. In nursing theory, human beings are considered in terms of their physiological, psychological, social, spiritual, and cultural selves...
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