• Spinal cord injury;
  • rehabilitation;
  • reintegration;
  • outcomes

A study was undertaken to describe the meaning, process, and consequences of nurse caring from the perspective of persons with spinal cord injuries (SCI) during rehabilitation. The constant comparative method, or grounded theory, was used in this prospective, exploratory project. In-depth tape-recorded interviews were conducted with 22 participants throughout their initial rehabilitation stay. A process of knowledge acquisition and decision making, facilitated by nurses and therapists in special caring relationships with the persons with SCI, resulted in outcomes of well-being, self-care, autonomy in decision making, independence, and hope, all of which contributed to the persons with SCI's reintegration of self before their discharge from inpatient rehabilitation.