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Book Chapter

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The thesis of this discussion is that nursing is involved in a scholarly evolution, that this evolution has properties and norms that have evolved from previous stages of development, and that every previous stage had a major contribution leading to our current evolution. The discussion is based on the premise that a reflective stance and self-analysis are essential to growth and development and that meaning and ideas are enhanced when one is able to trace their origins, the problems that motivated their development, the conceptualizations to which they relate, and the knowledge of how one intellectual tradition grows from another. Progress in nursing theory is a most significant aspect of this scholarly evolution and a cornerstone of the discipline of nursing. It behooves us, therefore, to review the events that influenced the current stage of nursing scholarliness and the contributions of nursing theory to it.

In its search for professional identity and meaning, nursing has proceeded through several stages. Self-analysis and evaluation and the view and status accorded nursing in our patriarchal society made it appear as if each successive stage was a deviation from the goal of establishing the discipline of nursing. But in essence each stage has sharpened and clarified the dimensions needed for establishing the scientific discipline, prompting or leading to the scholarly evolution in nursing.


Copyright 1983 Aspen Publishers.
Reprinted from:
Meleis A.I. (1983) The evolving nursing scholarliness. In Advances in Nursing Theory Development (Chinn P.L. ed.). Aspen. Systems, Rockville, MD, pp. 19-34.



Date Posted: 29 September 2009