Discovering and affirming knowledge in nursing practice


Ms Fran Sutton, 6 Veart Court, Salisbury Heights, South Australia 5109


This paper discusses how the use of care stories or stories derived from clinical nursing practice were used to elucidate the knowledge used in nursing practice. In addition, the processes used to elucidate this knowledge are described and consisted of reflective and critical reflective activity undertaken in both individual and group forms. In describing the processes used the concepts of reflection, critical reflection, narrative and story are discussed with reference to contemporary literature. It is the contention of the authors of this paper that nurses can, by verbalizing care stories with peers, identify knowledge that is either unique to nursing or highly valued by nurses. An additional value, that is concluded in this paper, is that nurses, by the verbalization of care stories, assist other nurses to see what they do, to hear what they do and also to value what they do. By using reflective conversation, as described by D.A. Schon, as a teaching-learning strategy the authors believe that this process may also enable the generalization of such knowledge and its transmission to peers as well as assisting students to record their knowledge and, in so doing, maintain it within the discipline.