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Presence in Nursing Practice: A Concept Analysis

Hessel, Joy A. BSN, RN

doi: 10.1097/HNP.0b013e3181b66cb5

Presence is an elusive concept in nursing practice that has been recognized as advantageous in the patient experience. Dictionary sources define presence as being with and attending to another; involvement, companionship. Nursing scholars and theorists have elaborated on the dictionary definition of presence to include a holistic definition inclusive of the patient experience and the connection experienced between both patient and provider. However, despite attempts to define presence as it relates to nursing practice, a definition that completely encompasses the substantial benefits on the patient experience is yet to be developed. As guided by Walker and Avant, this concept analysis was performed by selection of a concept, determination of the purpose of the analysis, evaluation of existing definitions, identification of defining attributes of the concept, formulation of patient cases that epitomize and contrast the concept, and identification of antecedents and empirical referents of the concept. Thus, in this concept analysis article, existing definitions of presence will be recognized and evaluated, cases demonstrating nursing presence explored, and a definition of presence in nursing developed.

University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire.

Corresponding Author: Joy A. Hessel, BSN, RN, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, 105 Garfield Ave, PO Box 4004, Eau Claire, WI 54702 (

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