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With the increasing complexity and changing conditions of nursing practice, as well as the encroachment of other professions on nursing's traditional domain, it is becoming increasingly important for nurses to gain insights into the nature of nursing knowledge and practice. This paper attempts to outline the meaning of the expression ‘to think nursing’ and the factors involved in such a capacity. The work of nurse scholars is then discussed in terms of their contribution towards developing the discipline of nursing to the stage where nurses do ‘think nursing'.