Ways Of Knowing In Nursing

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Barbara Carper (1978) identified patterns of knowing that are valuable to the practice of nursing and development of nursing knowledge. In her dissertation, Carper describes four fundamental ways of knowing that drive nursing care and interaction. These four fundamentals were labeled as empirical, esthetic, personal, and ethical. To understand how these ways of knowing apply to modern nursing knowledge, we will further analyze the definition of each way of knowing.
Carper (1978) describes empirical knowledge as the first fundamental pattern of knowing that is aimed at factual knowledge that is, ”systematically organized into general laws and theories, for the purpose of describing, explaining, and predicting” (Carper, 1978). This leads into …show more content…

This creative process in nursing utilizes perception of details and integrates into Benner’s theory of the competent level nurse. The competent nurse has the experience to plan and determine outcomes. This stage of competency is also where a situation guides responses, with no rules guiding it. The competent nurse is a deeper emotional stage of caring and knowledge, and allows for use the use of empathy to create a desired outcome for patient care (Alligood, 2014). Esthetical knowing can be hard to explain, and may be argued as a more intuitive way of knowing what a patient needs without the ability to articulate …show more content…

This level of knowing is characterized as difficult moral choices between right and wrong in the complex arena of health care. It is an understanding of different philosophies of what is morally right within different ethical frames (Carper 1978). This way of knowing is part of the knowledge base of the expert nurse in Benner’s theory. The expert nurse connects a situation to action through intuition and identification of the problem, and is able to devise multiple alternative diagnoses and solutions (Alligood, 2014). The expert nurse is able to integrate vast knowledge bases with meeting patient goals and needs. The expert nurse is then able to help patients navigate care when faced with decisions that may be ethically or morally difficult in

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