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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Vicki Ann Moss, DNSc, MS, BSN, RN (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh)
Description: This is the fourth edition of an anthology focusing on the metatheoretical or philosophical dimensions of the discipline of nursing. It includes classic and contemporary articles on the nature of theory and the development of nursing knowledge. The previous edition was published in 1997.
Purpose: This is a comprehensive overview of the ongoing discussions related to theory and knowledge development in nursing. Its purpose is not only to inform, but to provoke continued thought and discussion about nursing's unique body of knowledge. The book has been updated with cutting-edge information on nursing theory including international perspectives.
Audience: It is intended for graduate level nurses and students, and faculty who are involved in theory and research. The editors also see a use for the future when practicing nurses will be expected to develop as well as use theory. The editors and contributors include a wide range of nurses and faculty with appropriate credentials for theory and knowledge development in the discipline.
Features: There are 62 articles with 21 retained from previous editions as classics. It has been trimmed down to replace redundancies with contemporary information reflecting the changes in theoretical thinking since the 1997 edition. The book is arranged into five broad units: structure of nursing knowledge, historical perspectives in nursing theory, philosophic foundations of science and theory, nursing theory and practice, and future directions for nursing theory. The fifth unit is new to this edition and challenges readers to explore the 20th century assumptions of nursing science. Biographical information is given about the authors as well as commentary about their personal theoretical ideas.
Assessment: This book is one of a kind that brings together the thoughts of the who's who in nursing science development as well as contemporary thinkers who propose new philosophies and paradigms. The final section on nursing's future makes this edition unique and provokes thought on the path of nursing science. The addition of international authors is a plus.