Nursing knowledge has traditionally been examined and developed through the main research approaches based on the positivist, interpretive or phenomenological philosophies. These approaches are used either from a single and individual stance or combined to address particular research questions. They all, however, retain a focus that deals primarily or exclusively with what can be measured, observed or expressed as a fundamental unit of analysis to reconstruct, interpret and explain nursing practice.
In this paper, Vince Ramprogus challenges the traditional approach to how nursing knowledge is defined and the common understanding of the purpose of nursing research. It is argued that adhering to empirical rigour while investigating or measuring nursing practice interferes with the very act and experience of nursing. Indeed, it becomes an either/or situation. It is also argued that nursing is not an empirical subject, and, therefore, the purpose of researching nursing is not about seeking the truth but about improving practice to achieve better patient care. The arguments are intended to provoke discussion and debate rather than to present a set position
Nurse Researcher. 10, 1, 52-64. doi: 10.7748/nr2002.10.10.1.52.c5879
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