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Watson's Philosophy, Science, and Theory of Human Caring as a Conceptual Framework for Guiding Community Health Nursing Practice

Falk Rafael, Adeline R. RN, PhD

Communities and Systems

Criticisms of existing nursing theories in relation to community health nursing practice are that they focus on individuals and have been developed primarily for practice within the context of infirmity and disease, making them inadequate to guide community health nursing practice. Despite being developed for individuals, Watson's theory is proposed as a nursing framework that is philosophically congruent with contemporary global approaches to community health and health promotion. An overview of her theory identifies the centrality of caring, holism, and ecology in the theory as it has evolved over the past 20 years. Concepts developed for individualDnurse interactions are extrapolated to the community in a discussion of the suitability of the theory to guide community health nursing practice. A community assessment tool based on Watson's theory is provided.

Assistant Professor; School of Nursing; University of Western Ontario; London, Ontario

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