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Power and Caring: A Dialectic in Nursing

Falk Rafael, Adeline R. RN

Nursing Ethics

The tension between power and caring in nursing is evident through the volume of nursing literature related to power and powerlessness and through nurses' discomfort with notions of power.A dialectical examination of the concepts of power and caring reveals that at one level they appear to be polar opposites. Additional layers of the dialectic reflect different relationships between power and caring until they are seen as intertwined and mutually generative concepts in an approach to caring labeled "empowered caring."

Assistant Professor of Nursing, D'Youville College, Buffalo, New York, Doctoral Candidate, University of Colorado School of Nursing, Boulder, Colorado.

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