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Moving into the information era: does the current nursing paradigm still hold?


Ada Spitzer The Cheryl Spencer Department of Nursing, Rambam Medical Center, Haifa 31906, Israel.


Moving into the information era: does the current nursing paradigm still hold? The transition into the information era is characterized by society's passage through three crossroads representing a change from: (a) technology to post-technology; (b) rigid jobs and hierarchies to dejobbing and vanishing hierarchies; and (c) limited competition to competition dominating all markets. These transitions have caused dramatic changes in the health care system at large and escalating problems that cannot be solved within the current paradigm of nursing. Among the nursing problems that were identified are those including difficulties in: (a) defining the relative contribution of nursing vis a vis other health professions; (b) the scope and dimensions of nursing authority; (c) implementing all aspects of the nursing intervention; (d) actualizing caring in nursing intervention; and (f) implementing the nursing process as a major thinking process in the profession. The analysis of the state of nursing suggests that the current clinical paradigm fails to consolidate the economic and quality issues into the core of nursing. It is not capable of solving central professional problems and emerging dilemmas. Considering that under the current paradigm, nursing has difficulties in highlighting to clients and the system alike where nursing can make a difference, it is questionable whether such a paradigm can ensure the existence of nursing in the future.