Nursing practice is a symbiotic relationship between the art and science of professional care. One cannot exist in isolation from the other. Nurses are inclined to connect the art of nursing with terms such as compassion, caring attitudes, the therapeutic relationship, presence, professionalism, advocacy, and competence, otherwise known as the “soft or caring side of nursing”. The greatest threat to the disappearance of the art of nursing lies with the perceived “big three”: time, fiscal restraint, and failure of the system to support a full staff of nurses, so those employed are working at full capacity. It is important to recognize that different practice settings have varying needs. One size does not fit all. Yet the requirements for nursing assessments, developing a plan of care, coordinating care with other health care providers, implementing interventions, and evaluating care outcomes are a requirement of all.
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This chapter focuses specifically on nursing research program vertical infrastructure. Vertical infrastructure refers to the pillars of the program: the foundation that provides the support to build other services. Three essential components are used to develop a solid nursing research program foundation that advances the scientific foundation of nursing practice and promotes integration of evidence-based practices. The three components are nurse researchers who coach or mentor clinical nurses in nursing research, intranet website resources, and a research departmental database. A successful nursing research program is contingent on having the right nurse researcher personnel who can move research from project inception to dissemination in peer-reviewed literature and translation into practice. Nurse leadership may benefit from educational programs or a business plan that includes the benefits of a nursing research program and information about how a specific nursing research program aligns with strategic goals.
This chapter provides examples of programs and services beyond the foundational elements and global resources that can be used to overcome traditional nursing research barriers. It is assumed that at least one doctorate-prepared nurse researcher is available to facilitate research opportunities and educate nurses about research and evidence-based practice. Many clinical nurses fully understand their clinical roles but are completely unaware of opportunities and resources in nursing research within their hospital. Since contributions of nursing research are vital to the science and art of nursing and provide foundation for evidence-based practices, it is important to overcome the traditional cluster of barriers that include problems with nursing research visibility/priority, time and money, and research education. Nurses need confirmation that nurse leaders support research; when it is visible, it is valued. Moreover, nurses need time, education, and resources to complete rigorous research that leads to discoveries and answers to important clinical problems.
This chapter addresses the need for dissemination of research and focuses on dissemination both inside the hospital organization and outside. Disseminating results of research is often the most exciting phase of the process, as it is the culmination and highlight of countless hours of work. Common areas for dissemination internally include presentations to colleagues on people’s unit, as well as across hospital organization. Internal presentations offer a direct way for people to provide new evidence for practice in their hospital organization. In addition, however, it is important that results of their research reach nurses and other health professionals nationally and internationally. Thus, people want to participate in media dissemination of their research, systematically look for calls for abstracts to present at professional conferences, and disseminate their research through professional publications. Disseminating results, whether internally or externally, by media, poster, oral presentation, or publication, requires effort and attention to detail.
Dorothea Lynde Dix was born into an upper-class, highly educated, intelligent, and politically connected Bostonian family. These opportunities provided the foundation necessary to propel her into a leadership role as national and international advocate for the most vulnerable groups in the mid-1800s. Dorothea utilized her Methodist father’s background to augment the teachings of her adopted religious calling, Unitarianism, which promises salvation through leading a directed life. This chapter explores her leadership role in this period of American history. It also shows how her family background, pursuit of education, personality, and religious commitment to humanitarianism enabled her to confront seemingly insurmountable obstacles to implement national and international reform of care for psychiatrically disabled and imprisoned populations. In the final phase of her career, Dorothea was chosen for a national role to lead nursing during the American Civil War, a role that she considered as within her scope of knowledge and skills.
To think today that health issues in one country are confined to that country indicates a lack of understanding of disease transmission, cultural practices, and migration patterns at the least. This chapter presents health problem or issues and policies that impact populations around the globe. To highlight the worldwide impact, the content is framed within the seven continents. The health issues are not exclusive but selected to reflect the extent of political or governmental impact. It briefly describes government structures, and presents an overview of the policy-making process of Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, Italy, North America, and South America. The policy process will vary among countries depending on the type of government. Some issues may reflect cultural practices that may not be amenable to government intervention. The reader should determine the extent to which citizens, especially nurses, can be involved in the policy process as advocates and change agents.
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This chapter provides a brief introduction to approaches to coping theory-from its early roots in psychodynamic defense mechanisms, through cognitive and personality approaches to coping styles, to more current work on coping and adaptive processes. The coping process approach recognizes that coping strategies are influenced not only by person characteristics such as personality, values, and developmental history but also by environmental demands and resources. The chapter develops a definition of ‘resilience’ as the ability to recognize, utilize, and develop or modify resources at the individual, community, and sociocultural levels in the service of three goal-related processes: maintenance of optimal functioning, given current limitations; development of a comfortable life structure; and development of a sense of purpose in life. A common assumption of life-span developmental theories is that the increasing physical and sometimes cognitive limitations with age necessitate changes in adaptive processes.
This chapter reviews biodemographic theories of aging that attempt to answer the proverbial ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions in gerontology. Biodemography of aging represents an area of research that integrates demographic and biological theory and methods and provides innovative tools for studies of aging and longevity. The historical development of the biodemography of aging is closely interwoven with the historical development of statistics, demography, and even the technical aspects of life insurance. The chapter also reviews some applications of reliability theory to the problem of biological aging. Reliability theory of aging provides theoretical arguments explaining the importance of early-life conditions in later-life health outcomes. Moreover, reliability theory helps evolutionary theories explain how the age of onset of diseases caused by deleterious mutations could be postponed to later ages during the evolution this could be easily achieved by simple increase in the initial redundancy levels.
This chapter describes the interpretive perspective in all its richness and variability in guiding research and advancing understanding of a wide range of phenomena in aging and life-course research. It discusses the interpretive perspective with other variants of social science theorizing, particularly normative perspectives on aging and life course-placing its development in historical context. The chapter addresses the contentious issue of causal explanation, as understood in diverse disciplinary contexts. It highlights some prominent normative theoretical approaches in social gerontology, by way of providing a comparative context for our primary consideration of the interpretive perspective. A given theoretical perspective in gerontology can focus solely on macro level, structural phenomena, on micro-level behavior and social interaction, or on understanding of the links between macro and micro phenomena.