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GIS(c): A Scientific Framework and Methodological Tool for Nursing Research

Moss, Margaret P. DSN, RN; Schell, Matthew C. MA


The purpose of this article was to bring to nursing science a theoretical framework and technology that can transport with it new ways of knowing by exploiting microperspectives and macroperspectives, both from “within the map” and globally. Nursing continues to find its voice, but it also must lend its voice to the forming of Geographic Information Systems and Science in a pan-disciplinary partnership with geography, cartography, sociology, public health, and information technology. It is proposed that nursing take advantage of the latest databases that hold “person” information and layer these over geographical maps holding “environment” and “health” information as a new way of seeing and applying the metaparadigms of nursing. By using Geographic Information Systems for understanding spatial, numeric, health, and population relationships as they relate to nursing practice, research, and teaching, nursing science will continue to evolve at a speed needed to be effective in the new millennia.

From the School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn. (Moss)

The Department of Geography, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn. (Schell)

Corresponding author: Margaret P. Moss, DSN, RN, University of Minnesota School of Nursing, WDH 6-138, 308 Harvard St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (e-mail:

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.