Tuesday, November 6, 2007

This presentation is part of : Futures Thinking and Visioning
In Search of the Discipline of Nursing
Iain Graham, RN, RMN, PhD, MEd, MSc, BSc, Institute of Health and Community Studies, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, Dorset, England
Learning Objective #1: Demonstrate an understanding of the nature of the nursing discipline, its geneses and uncertainty.
Learning Objective #2: Describe the difficulties in seperating the nature of the discipline from the nature of nursing practice.

Must of the confusion concerning the identify of nursing comes from the fact, I believe, that the term nursing is used to signify both the practice of doing things to people, ranging from the technical and personal to the emotional and intellectual, and the discipline of nursing as defined by academics who study these doing things.  It is a noun and a verb.  Separating the practice of nursing from the discipline of nursing is difficult because of this fact.
Nursing as a practice and nursing as a discipline can be distinguished from each other because nursing care is given very differently from the way that it is studied.  Nursing practice tends to be based upon systems and processes that have developed over time.  The nursing discipline however is still perhaps hidden and obscure. 
In this paper I will examine two primary ways of engaging in a phenomenological interpretation of nursing.  The first will disclose the meaning of nursing care by the direct study of that care.  The second interprets the meaning of nursing in light of philosophical beliefs of the meaning of human existence. 
In my conclusion I will identify how the discipline and the practice are so linked and dynamically dependent upon each other that in order to understand the discipline of nursing one also has to understand its practice; both of which may be drawn from understanding the human condition.