Oral Presentation The 26th International Nursing Philosophy Conference 2023

Nursing effectiveness reconsidered: some fundamental reflections on the nature of nursing (#43)

Martin Wallner 1 2 , Hanna Mayer 1
  1. Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences, Krems, LOWER AUSTRIA, Austria
  2. Department of Nursing Science, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Despite being considered the backbone of our healthcare systems, nursing still seems to struggle to demonstrate its contribution to care experiences and patient outcomes. This predicament leads to erosive tendencies that threaten the development of nursing and its progress as an academic discipline. One reason is an apparent lack of theory development and, consequently, a lack of clarity or disagreement about nursing's identity. Hence, there is the danger of being over-formed by other disciplines and becoming de-professionalized.
Aside from practical, political and societal dimensions of this problem, there is also a scientific one. A lack of inquiry into the nature of nursing makes it difficult to develop adequate methodologies. Existing approaches to evaluating nursing interventions conflict with basic nursing premises and are fraught with methodological difficulties, resulting in what may be called ‘scientific voicelessness’.
Based on a critical reflection of nursing effectiveness research, existing nursing theories, as well as our own empirical insights, we will explore ontological, epistemological, and methodological questions regarding nursing and its assumed effectiveness. In this way, we aim to contribute to a possible and arguably necessary change of perspective.