Nursing as Caring
A Model for Transforming Practice
By Anne Boykin and Savina O. Schoenhofer
Nursing as Caring: A Model for Transforming Practice sets forth a different order of nursing theory. This nursing theory is personal, not abstract. In order to express nursing as caring there is a clear need to know self as caring person. The focus of the Nursing as Caring theory, then, is not toward an end product such as health or wellness. It is about a unique way of living caring in the world. It is about nurses and nursed living life and nurturing growing humanly through participation in life together.
The study of human caring as a unique and essential characteristic of nursing practice has gradually expanded from early definitional, philosophical, and cultural research on the meanings of caring, to the explication of theoretical definitions of caring, conceptual models, proposed taxonomy of caring concepts, a great deal of creative experimentation with research methodologies, and the development of several theories of caring.
In general, one may say that knowledge of caring has grown in two ways, first by extension and, more recently, by intension. Growth by extension consists of a relatively full explanation of a small region which is then carried over into an explanation of adjoining regions. Growth by extension can be associated with the metaphors of building a model or putting together a jigsaw puzzle (Kaplan, 1964, p. 305).
In growth by intension, a partial explanation of a whole region is made more and more adequate and outlines for subsequent theory and observation are clarified. Growth by intension is associated with the metaphor of gradually illuminating a darkened room. A few persons enter the room with their individual lights and are able to slowly perceive what is in that room. As more persons enter the room, it becomes more fully illuminated, and the observed reality is clarified