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As advances in nursing science and research impact upon nursing education and clinical practice, new ways of looking at phenomena have led to a re-examination and refinement of the traditional concepts person, environment, health and nursing This evolving pattern of intellectual growth holds promise for the discipline of nursing through the advancement of knowledge based upon scientific inquiry into the practice of nursing This paper discusses nursing as a discipline by examining the development of a unique body of knowledge from three viewpoints historical past, current perspectives and future direction