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Analyzing the State of Community Health Nursing: Advancing From Deficit to Strengths-Based Practice Using Appreciative Inquiry

Lind, Candace PhD, RN; Smith, Dawn PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/01.ANS.0000311527.35446.4c
Original Article

In this article we critically analyze the disconnect between much of the contemporary discourse and practice in Canadian community health nursing (CHN) that has contributed to the slow progress of strengths-based, health-promoting nursing practice. Appreciative inquiry philosophy and methods are introduced as a bridge to traverse this disciplinary gap. Two exemplars show how appreciative, strengths-based CHN research and action can move policies and programs toward more socially just practices congruent with CHN values. Exciting potential for nursing knowledge may arise from incorporating more strengths-based approaches into practice, education, policy, and research.

Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (Dr Lind); and School of Nursing, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (Dr Smith).

Corresponding Author: Candace Lind, PhD, RN, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, PF 2236, 2500 University Dr NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4 (

The authors thank the community members and staff of the Nuu-Chah-Nuulth Nursing department who shared their story, the student and staff coresearchers in the school research project, and Dr Carol Ewashen and Dr. Janice Kinch, who provided valuable feedback on an earlier draft of this paper. Special thanks to Dr Beverly Anderson, Candace's doctoral supervisor, who introduced her to appreciative inquiry. Candace Lind held a postdoctoral fellowship at the School of Nursing, University of Ottawa. This award is funded by the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Government of Ontario and was offered as part of Dr. Edwards' Nursing Chair.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.