Reflect upon a patient care encounter from personal practice in which principles from Barbara Carper’s theory of “Ways of Knowing” were used.
Overview This module provides an overview of the concepts of science and philosophy as a basis for exploring theory and research in nursing. We begin by examining the schools of philosophical thought that have influenced nursing. The epistemology of nursing is explored to gain a better understanding of how multiple “ways of knowing” is an important concept in the quest for development and application of theory and research in nursing. Having set a foundation for the quest for knowledge, we turn our attention to the research process, with a particular emphasis on the planning phase. This module introduces students to concepts related to the planning phase and skills needed for critically reviewing literature in nursing research. Nursing is an evolving profession, an academic discipline, and a science. There has not yet been a concerted effort to reach consensus about knowledge that is fundamental to nursing. The knowledge that constitutes the discipline has not yet been identified and structured, and agreement has not been reached concerning appropriate and needed inclusions. Entering the 21st century, nurses are split on whether to emphasize a humanistic, holistic focus or an objective, scientifically-derived means of comprehending reality. Many advocate for an open philosophy that ties empirical concepts that are capable of validating through the senses with theoretical concepts of meaning and value. Future nursing leaders and novice nurse scientists need to possess an understanding of nursing’s philosophical foundations. The legacy of philosophical positivism continues to drive beliefs in the scientific method and research strategies, however, the challenges of the increasingly complex and volatile health care environment challenges all nurses to achieve a greater understanding of the relationship between philosophy and science in nursing. Research brings us new knowledge that informs our practice. The ultimate goal is to improve the outcomes of care. In this module, we addressed the very first step in conducting a research study: deciding upon the focus or topic of the study. It is a creative process involving thinking, reflecting, reading, and talking with others. A strong topic for research study should be one that is innovative, significant, reasonable, ethical, and exciting to you personally. To design a research study that builds upon existing knowledge and is clearly connected to that knowledge base, a thorough and analytical review of the literature is needed. Both the theoretical literature and the research literature should be reviewed. Your approach to these two different types of information will differ in several ways discussed in this module. There are several phases to conducting a review of the literature: the search, reading what you have found and making notes on important points, and then writing the review
Reflect upon a patient care encounter from personal practice in which principles from Barbara Carper’s theory of “Ways of Knowing” were used. Illustrate how each fundamental pattern for nursing knowledge contributed to the care of this patient. Select a particular area of nursing that is of interest to you. Elaborate on the specifics of nursing research in relation to this area— what can be accomplished by it, and why you believe it to be valuable. Include an explanation of the following questions in your response. What role does nursing research play in the development of applied medicine? What are the best methods for conducting such research? Include specific topics you will cover, and how this relates to your literature review. How do you know whether a topic qualifies as research worthy? What criteria make a topic acceptable for research?