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Nursing Knowledge in the 21st Century

Domain-Derived and Basic Science Practice-Shaped

Roy, Callista, PhD, RN, FAAN

doi: 10.1097/ANS.0000000000000240
The Focus of the Discipline

Some have described that nursing is at a crossroads that necessitates finding ways to balance knowledge development that is philosophical and conceptual/theoretical with the empirical inquiry, particularly of the developing related biologic sciences. This article sets a direction for nursing knowledge development that is domain-driven. The central role of nursing theory in attaining the common goals of nursing is envisioned. Recommendations include that grand theories, middle-range theories, and practice theories in tree-like fashion feed into the common goal of humanization; that all teaching tools in nursing begin with common goals and describe nursing theories as contributing to these goals; that theory-practice alliances are central in filling out the envisioned domain-driven knowledge and integrating this with practice-shaped basic sciences.

Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles, California; and Boston College Connell School of Nursing, Boston, Massachusetts.

Correspondence: Callista Roy, PhD, RN, FAAN, Mount Saint Mary's University, 12001 Chalon Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90049 (

The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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