Danielle Berg, Hailey Hunter, Anh Nguyen, Michael Seeley & Christopher Wilson
Dr. Deitra Watson
September 06, 2013
Carper Four Ways of Knowing and Different Types of Nursing Theories
It is essential in nursing to continue learning and applying knowledge to the everyday practice. In doing so, it is important to understand how to organize, test, and apply knowledge to nursing. Barbara Carper identified four fundamental patterns of knowing in nursing which are necessary for the teaching and learning of nursing. Carper's four fundamental patterns of knowing in nursing are defined as empirical, ethical, personal and aesthetic (Carper, 1978). A different method of analysis is required to find evidence, understand each pattern and develop knowledge about each pattern.
Empirical knowing or knowledge is simply the science of nursing (Hunter, 2008). Empirical knowledge in nursing literature had a late start having only been around since the 1950’s. Since then, there has been an increasing importance placed on the development of a body of empirical knowledge on nursing. With empirical knowing, science of nursing can be categorized into general law and theories (Carper, 1978). The pattern on knowing labeled as “nursing science” does not reflect the same characteristics as the more advanced sciences. Nursing attempts to assess knowledge, question its validity and take the information and incorporate it into specific situations. This can be expressed in facts, specific concept or theory which can be used to predict specific outcomes. Currently, in the development of nursing science, new concepts and experiences continue to occur in health and illness with regards to human life. These new concepts and experiences in the nursing sciences should be seen as breakthroughs in nursing. Carper expresses the need for nursing to expand empirical
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