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The influence of philosophy on knowledge development in nursing

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The Influence of Philosophy on Knowledge Development in Nursing Our philosophy of nursing influences the process of knowledge development in nursing practice. As future Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, we are called to a duty of doing good for all of mankind, and in order to continuously meet the healthcare needs of the public, it is vital that we continuously strive to improve practice. According to McCurry, Revell, and Roy (2010), “knowledge is built upon theories, and theories, together with their philosophical bases and disciplinary goals, are the guiding frameworks for practice” (p. 42). As future Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, we must focus and reflect on our methods of practice, based on our individual philosophy of nursing and the theoretical basis for which we guide our practice.

According to Kim (1999), this will help create a better understanding of the intention of practice, will encourage critical self-reflection, and will aid in the development of improved methods with which we deliver care to our patients. In the practice setting, the experiences we gain influence the development of knowledge because practice settings tend to be situation specific. There is an intimate relationship between the medical provider and the patient and areas of practice that need improvement will be identified. Meleis (2012) states “interaction is the prime source of meanings and perceptions of experiences, and participants in the activities of knowledge development are those who are developing and structuring knowledge and those about whom knowledge is developed” (p. 89). Nurses that understand the meaning behind what they do tend to search for a better understanding of human processes, monitor and evaluate responses, and share the learned experiences with others through research.

When learned experiences are shared, improvements to practice can be made. Rolfe (2011) discusses Polit and Beck’s definition of nursing research and clinical nursing research. According to Polit and Beck, nursing research is a “systematic inquiry designed to develop knowledge about issues of importance to the nursing profession” (Rolfe, 2011, p. 62) and clinical nursing research is “designed to generate knowledge to guide nursing practice and to improve the health and quality of life of nurses’ clients” (Rolfe, 2011 p. 62). The theoretical and philosophical perspectives that guide our practice, coupled with a spirit of inquiry and the ability to critique current practice norms supports efforts to define areas of deficit and encourage improvements in nursing practice and care delivery (Jones, 2007). Continuous efforts to improve practice depend on ongoing knowledge development in nursing, and it is not only our obligation, as future Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, but it is our moral mandate to promote health and wellness to all world.

Jones, D. A., & Roy, C. (2007). Nursing Knowledge Development and Clinical Practice. New
York: Springer Pub. Co.
Kim, H. (1999). Critical reflective inquiry for knowledge development in nursing practice.
Journal Of Advanced Nursing, 29(5), 1205-1212. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2648.1999.01005.x McCurry, M., Revell, S., & Roy, S. (2010). Knowledge for the good of the individual and society: Linking philosophy, disciplinary goals, theory, and practice. Nursing Philosophy, 11(1), 42-52. doi:10.1111/j.1466-769X.2009.00423.x Meleis, A. I. (2012). The discipline of nursing: Perspective and domain. In Theoretical nursing development and progress (5th ed., pp. 87-112). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

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