In order to critically examine the concepts central to the discipline of nursing it is important to clarify my understanding of what constitutes a discipline. Nursing literature has led me to understand that a discipline can be, in simple terms, thought of as a field of study with a unique perspective which gives rise to the nature and scope of inquiry of that field and therefore leads to a specialized body of knowledge (Parker, M & Smith, M, 2010). In attempt to cement nursing’s place in the professional world and in an effort to distinguish it from other disciplines it seems imperative that nursing itself agree on the discipline’s most significant concepts. Through early course readings it has become clear that this task is not so easily achieved. Several nurse scholars have conducted research and devised seemingly limitless options to choose from. In developing a metaparadigm of nursing a loose framework is established and agreed upon providing structure in which more concrete and focused concepts are identified. Through this paper I will examine and discuss the work of two notable nurse researchers and their contributions to identifying the central concepts of nursing including the influence of these concepts on the present state of nursing. In addition, I will address the way these concepts apply to my nursing practice and identify concepts of personal importance.
Influence of the Central Concepts Despite the efforts of nurse scholars to clearly define the profession a certain amount of ambiguity remains and is accompanied by a slight difference in opinion. Fawcett (1984) identifies four concepts central to the discipline of nursing including person, environment, health and nursing (p.84). In combination these concepts create a metaparadigm of nursing, which serves to identify the most salient phenomena concerning the discipline. The work of Newman, Smith, Dexheimer-Pharris and Jones (2008) elaborates on
References: Fawcett, J. (1984). The metaparadigm of nursing: Present status and future refinements. Image: Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 16(3), 84-87. Newman, M. A., Smith, M. C., Dexheimer-Pharris, M. D., & Jones, D. (2008). The focus of the discipline revisited. Advances in Nursing Science 31(1), E16-E27. Smith, M., & Parker, M. E. (2010). Nursing theory and the discipline of nursing. In M. Parker & M. Smith (3rd ed.), Nursing theories and practice (pp.3-15). Philadelphia: FA Davis.