Oral Presentation The 26th International Nursing Philosophy Conference 2023

Stabilities that unify the diverse multifaceted discipline of nursing. (#78)

Beverly Whelton 1
  1. Wheeling University, Martins Fery, OHIO, United States

Much contemporary philosophy concerns aspects of change natural and social. Rather than phenomena, this discussion considers the stabilities under or behind change.  According to the ancient Heraclitus one cannot step twice into the same river. He was right. Water is ever-flowing, but behind the ever-changing waters is the river.  The profession of Nursing is changing. Today’s professionals share very little demographics with nursing pioneers, and yet, it is proposed, that we share much that is essential with them. Nursing is a human practice. Situations and aspects of care are ever-changing, that it is a human practice stays the same.

Speculative science of Nursing inquires into what exists as universal attributes. Practical scientists are concerned with the use of universally established principles to construct objects (making) or modify situations (doing). In this way, nursing translates into the principles and scientifically supported foundations of human health practices. According to Wallace (1983), in practical science “The knowledge is universal, but it is applied to produce the singular existent situation or health product. Particular interventions and products fall within nursing art and technology” (p. 286).

Nursing is a practical science by its end, health.  Whelton (2000) writes, “Humans see an end or goal as desirable, then deliberate or reason practically about how they can achieve this end, finally selecting an action toward achievement of the desired end” (p. 58). Nursing scholarship must be concerned with knowledge of nursing’s goals and how to achieve them (health or justice. With the words desired or good, we immediately enter the realm of ethics. Nursing is also an ethical practice.

Nursing is multifaceted with speculative and practical knowledge (Sciences) to be gained and used in care or practice with individuals, families and communities (nursing art and ethics).