As per Elizabeth Ann Manhart Barret “Nursing science is the substantive, abstract knowledge describing nursing’s unique phenomenon of concern, the integral nature of unitary human beings and their environments. The creation of this knowledge occurs through synthesis as well as qualitative and quantitative modes of inquiry. Nursing science-based practice and research is the imaginative and creative use of nursing knowledge to promote the health and well-being of all people.”(Kalisch. 1986) The theorist who I believed had the most tremendous impact on nursing research and the profession of nursing as it stands today is Florence Nightingale.
Florence Nightingale, originally from England was a great visionary and pioneer of nursing in the 1870’s. Her focus and teachings in nursing were on patient care and hygiene to enhance healing. Florence Nightingale did not consider herself a theorist however her documentation of her practice have guided the science of nursing and nursing research for decades. Nightingale’s Environmental theory is an integral part of healthcare today.
Her principles are better adopted in an educational setting but can be applied to a clinical setting. Nightingale’s Environmental theory was based on the concept that the environment could be altered to improve conditions so that the natural laws could allow healing, and that the environment is capable of suppressing, preventing or causing disease and illness in the individual. Her theory also stated that a poor environment leads to poor health and disease. Core concepts or metaparadigms are the tenants of nursing and their role is to define how patients should be treated.
The concepts are the person, the environment, health and nursing. (Avant. 2011). All of the concepts are interrelated and each concept builds upon the concept that precedes it. Nightingale’s definitions of the metaparadigms have been utilized by many of the theorist that have followed her and are still widely used today. She defined them as followed: The human was seen as the person or the individual.
The role of the nurse is to alter the environment to place the individual in the best condition for nature or the environment to act upon them. The environment was defined as all external and internal factors that can affect the health and wellness of the individual and health was defined as the process of getting well In conclusion research and nursing science has greatly evolved through the years and will continue to do so over time with the continued contributions from nurses such as Florence Nightingale and the continued advancements in research and medicine. As the needs of the patients continue to grow so will the quest for more nursing knowledge, and the science of nursing will continue to develop.
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