Philosophical inquiry and the goals of nursing
A critical approach for disciplinary knowledge development and action
NURS 502: Nature of nursing knowledge
Dr. Sherry DahlkeOctober 1, 2018
The philosophy is a vital component in nursing practice that is responsible for the well-being of the patients’ personal health as well as for the mental, emotional and physical health of the nurses. The philosophy is the study of knowledge that provides a system to the disciplines, and it may also comprise of one’s convictions, prejudices, and beliefs.
Philosophical inquiry (definition)
What is the reading about? What argument do the authors make?
The article explains the philosophy and the development of philosophical methods, considering the philosophical inquiry as a critical method for the nursing profession. It articulates philosophical inquiry to the goals of nursing, using the proposed taxonomy with the purpose to guide nursing curricula and research development. Thus, philosophical inquiry is significant for nursing education, practice, and knowledge development. The article is concluded with the possible reasons for the underutilization of philosophical inquiry in nursing and arguments for efforts to strengthen its application.
In what ways do you agree/disagree with the argument made in the article and why?
The authors’ idea that the philosophical inquiry is a habit which should be cultivated by the nurses is appealing to me. It facilitates the contextualizing of nursing problems within the political, societal, and cultural aspects of practice. I concur with the authors’ view that the philosophical method of inquiry challenge the nurses not to accept the status quo without question considering directed mindfulness as a key stance of the method. I am of the same mind that the function of philosophy is to foster intellectual independence. Thus, provoking the questions like why they exist, what is their function (ontology), what constitutes their knowledge (epistemology), and what are disciplinary responsibilities (moral philosophy/ethics).
The article annotates the three levels of proposed taxonomy focusing on (I) adopting the philosophical attitude of critical consciousness that includes the ability and willingness to challenges taken-for-granted assumptions in all nursing situations and actions, (II) development of analytic skills and application of pertinent philosophical perspectives to nursing problems, and (III) generation of new nursing knowledge, new theories of practice and research.
How does the content of this reading inform practice?
The philosophical inquiry is an integral component of nursing practice and knowledge development. It helps in the identification and analysis of emerging problems and addresses the unmet human needs by synthesizing the new understandings as per the need and possibility. Thus, focusing on the primary goals of nursing including the promotion of health, prevention of illness, restoration of health and alleviation of sufferings.
How might it change how you think about nursing practice?
Knowledge development is an ongoing imperative for the nursing profession. Firstly, the nurses should consider the available knowledge in their quest to achieve nursing goals, subjecting to analysis and critique new knowledge of various kinds. The organizations should encourage the nurses to ground their practice in research-based knowledge. The management should develop a particular attitude, practice, and mentoring of health care professionals in this regard. The undergraduate nursing programs can include courses on philosophy as part of their curriculum that will enable the development of critical thinking skills among the nurses. Secondly, the proposed taxonomy can provide a framework for curriculum development across levels. Secondly, the nursing researchers and scholars should pursue philosophical inquiry as a means of understanding and the ways to achieve disciplinary goals. Thirdly, the nurses can be trained on the philosophical methods that would permit the development of ability to question the status quo, critical evaluation of problems, and the envision of innovative solutions. Moreover, the nursing scholars can develop the explanatory theoretical frameworks of practice that could provide insights about professional goals, effective methods for achieving these goals and revising them in light of social and human needs, responses, and environmental challenges. Furthermore, the hospital-based nurse ethicist can teach ethical frameworks of analysis to staff, advanced practice nurses, and other clinicians. In this manner, philosophical questions generated by a bedside nurse at the level I can be informed by established philosophical/ethical frameworks at level II.
Thus, philosophical inquiry is a moral obligation of the profession that nurtures as an attitude to be cultivated by nurses. All nursing actions, therefore, practice, theorizing, education, research, and policy-making should be aimed at realizing nursing goals and removing socio-political obstructions to that goal.