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Philosophy and Science in Practice Discipline on Nursing

Influence of Philosophy of science on nursing

Philosophy of science has contributed a lot to nursing. It has acted to bridge the gap between theory and practice of Nursing. Just like all other professionals, nurses seek knowledge to improve service provision and also to define their role in society. Philosophy of Science focuses on acquiring the knowledge, as in epistemology and how the knowledge will be relevant to the world. It encourages interaction between philosophical reasoning and scientific research. Philosophy gives meaning to scientific knowledge that is based on facts only.

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It has been recognized that some concepts in nursing cannot be measured quantitatively. In such circumstances, philosophical tools may be used in the enquiry process (Dahnke & Dreher, 2011). These tools include; use of analysis, interpretation and logic. They allow the researcher to interpret, give findings and come up with conclusions without using the normal scientific research approach that requires empirical evidence (Gray, 2004).

In this way, Philosophy of Science has allowed researchers to come up with theories in areas where empirical evidence cannot be accessed. Philosophical evidence may also be integrated with empirical evidence from scientific research to come up with nursing theories that have a wide base of knowledge in nursing (Meleis, 2007).

Interrelationship between philosophy and knowledge development

The number of nurses pursuing advanced education has substantially increased. This has ensured development of independent nursing knowledge unlike in the past where knowledge was adopted from other disciplines. Nurses have considered the contribution of philosophy to knowledge development; hence providing alternative ways of thinking (Rodgers, 2005).

Nurses use philosophical approaches such as induction and deduction to come up with new knowledge. Induction involves the use of particular knowledge on various aspects to come up with a general assumption while deduction involves using general ideas to come up with specific conclusions.

During the development of the nursing profession, in order for the nurses to be identified as professionals, they had to have a wide base of knowledge. Nurses also had to be in line with the academic requirements at that time which required a wider base of knowledge. To compete with other well established careers, they had to develop scientific knowledge which was considered the highest form of knowledge at the time (Meleis, 2007).

Nursing scholars turned to philosophy of science for guidance on what constitutes science; from there they established that, for a subject or a profession to be referred to as a science, it had to be based on a well-defined theory. Thus, nurse scholars at that time had to come up with various theories to support the profession. Philosophy gave guidance to the development of nursing profession as a Science. These theories are still used to date to develop new knowledge and to practice the profession (Gray, 2004).

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Personal nursing philosophy

Nursing puts a lot of emphasis on critical thinking during the practice of the profession. Critical thinking is closely linked to epistemology which is a branch of philosophy that deals with how we acquire knowledge (Gray, 2004). Critical thinking aids in decision making and also coming up with possible research areas in Nursing. This leads to development of knowledge on how based to improve service delivery in the profession.

Therefore, I have decided to enroll in the doctorate level not only to enhance my career but also to teach since I love to mentor others. As an advanced practice nurse I can share, mentor and advise young people in the profession. Knowledge is power; however, not sharing it is a waste.

References

Dahnke, M., D. & Dreher, M., H. (2011). Philosophy of Science for Nursing Practice: Concepts and application. New York: Springer.

Gray, M., T. (2004). Philosophical inquiry in nursing: an argument for radical empiricism as a philosophical framework for the phenomenology of addiction. Qualitative Health Research 14(8), 1151–1164.

Meleis, A. (2007). Theoretical Nursing: Development and Progress. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Rodgers, B. (2005). Developing Nursing knowledge: Philosophical traditions and Influences. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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