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Particularizing the General

Sustaining Theoretical Integrity in the Context of an Evidence-Based Practice Agenda

Thorne, Sally, PhD, RN, FAAN, FCAHS; Sawatzky, Richard, PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/ANS.0000000000000011
Original Articles

Proliferation of demands for accountability and health care quality places nurses under constant pressure to ensure professional practice is evidence-based. The corresponding emphasis on knowledge that pertains to general populations challenges nursing's traditional focus on the uniqueness of each individual patient. Considering how nurses engage with professional systematic thinking processes, we reflect on ways competing agendas in the evidence-based practice environment compromise the professional vision aspired to by an earlier era of nursing model and framework builders. Exploring the scientific thinking underpinning practice evidence, we contemplate implications for applying general knowledge to particular practice, reconsidering options for conceptualizing nursing praxis.

School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (Dr Thorne); and School of Nursing, Trinity Western University (Dr Sawatzky), Langley, British Columbia, Canada.

Correspondence: Sally Thorne, PhD, RN, FAAN, FCAHS, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, T201-2211 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 2B5, Canada (

The authors have no funding sources to declare.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

© 2014Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins