During the last 35 years, nursing knowledge has known a surge in its development. Following the evolution of the scientific world, nursing first embraced the logical empiricist perspective of discovering and knowing. Historicism and, more recently, critical social theory have been explored as alternative ways of making knowledge in nursing. This paper discusses the evolution of nursing knowledge, considering its past and present activities. The authors suggest that a cooperative attitude amongst nurses, and a coexistence of various paradigms of knowledge development characterize the future of nursing. Nursing knowledge should be understood as a stage in its evolution and growth. The result of this process will never be a final static body of knowledge. Knowledge expansion will be encouraged through a process of integrating components from different research traditions, such that a multidimensional understanding of phenomena will be realised.
Journal of Advanced Nursing – Wiley
Published: Jul 1, 1987
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