The author was afforded opportunity during her doctoral studies to compile and reflect upon the scholarly work of nurse researcher, Dr Janice Morse. Morse's refinement and development of patient-centred, empirically based concepts and theories, and her mastery of a diverse research repertoire, are an indisputable contribution to nursing knowledge. The author delineates four ways by which Morse's work contributes to nursing's disciplinary body of knowledge: (i) the consistent focus on the nurse–patient domain; (ii) the multiplicity of knowledge forms; (iii) the promotion of paradigm integration and methodological pluralism; and (iv) the predominance of prescriptive theories. Additionally, conjecture is put forth regarding the philosophical assumptions underpinning Morse's work. Morse serves as an excellent role model for nurse researchers who strive to ensure that nursing theories are amenable to clinical application, to research investigation and to utilization as a pedagogical tool.