The Metaparadigm of Nursing: Present Status and Future Refinements

4067 Words Apr 16th, 2013 17 Pages
The Metaparadigm of Nursing: Present Status and
Fut ure Refinement s
Jacqueline Fawcett, Ph.D.,


The central concepts and themes of t he discipline of nursing are identified and formalized as nursing’s metaparadigm. Examples illustrate the direction provided by the metaparadigm for theory development. Refinements of the metaparadigm through conceptual models and programs of nursing research are proposed.


he discipline of nursing will advance only through continuous and systematic development and testing of nursing knowledge. Several recent reviews of the status of nursing theory development indicate that nursing has n o established tradition of scholarship. Reviewers have pointed out that most work
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9 )
The four conceptual areas of nursing are: the person receiving nursing; the environment within which the person exists; the health-illness continuum within which the person falls at the time of the interaction with the nurse; and finally, nursing actions themselves. (Flaskerud, cited in Brink,
1980, p. 665)
The domain of nursing has always included the nurse, the patient, the situation in which they find themselves, and the purpose of their being together, or the health of the patient. In more formalized terms,
. . . the major components of the nursing
[metalparadigm are nursing (as an action), client (human being), environment (of the client and of the nurse-client), and health.
(Newman, 1983, p. 388)
There i s general agreement that the central concepts of the discipline of nursing are the nature of nursing, the individual who received nursing care, society-environment, and health. (Chinn, 1983, p. 396)

These statements indicate that there i s considerable agreement among scholars as t o the concepts central to the discipline of nursing. In fact, a review of the literature revealed no contradictory statements.

The relationships between and among the concepts-person, environment, health, nursing-are elaborated in recurring themes found in works of nurse scholars since Nightingale (1859). These themes are listed in
Table 1.
Summer, 1984, Volumo XVI, blo. 3

Metaparadigm of Nursing
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