Snapshots of experience: vignettes from a nursing home


  • Alice Running PhD RN CS

    Corresponding author
    1. Orvis Endowed Professor, Coordinator FNP Program, Orvis School of Nursing/134, University of Nevada, Reno, NV 89557-0052, USA
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Alice Running, PO Box 9435, University Station, Reno, Nevoda, USA, E-mail:


The specific aim of this research project was to examine and describe the experience of living in a nursing home for six people of 80 years and older. ‘Visit’ is presented as a means of developing nursing knowledge. This research method is founded on the belief that the act of nursing involves the development of a relationship, and was created out of the author's desire for a relational research method. Philosophical support for the method is provided by Maurice Merleau-Ponty's existentialism, Sally Gadow's existential advocacy, and Jean Watson's Human Caring Theory. Authenticity is proposed as an alternative to the concepts of reliability and validity for judging the scientific merit of the method. Whether the nursing role is researcher, practitioner or educator, each person's unique and inexhaustible story provides the basis for nursing care. Nurse researchers using ‘Visit’ as a method of inquiry can illustrate these unique differences through a story, through the images or pictures each individual creates with his or her own words.