Sustainability: an evolutionary concept analysis. Exploring Nursing's role within the sustainability movement
Article first published online: 11 SEP 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Journal of Advanced Nursing
How to Cite
2013) Sustainability: an evolutionary concept analysis. Exploring Nursing's role within the sustainability movement. Journal of Advanced Nursing 00(0), 000–000. doi: 10.1111/jan.12250(
- Article first published online: 11 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 AUG 2013
- concept analysis;
- evolutionary method;
- knowledge development;
This paper aimed to explore the evolution of the concept of sustainability to facilitate further knowledge development in the discipline of nursing.
The concept of ‘sustainability’ emerged in the 1950s as a result of the environmental movement. The concept has been adapted by the discipline of management and is increasingly discussed in the context of health care. The concept remains ambiguous in the discipline of nursing, resulting in a struggle to articulate the role of nursing in the sustainability movement.
Rodgers evolutionary method of concept analysis was used.
Literature was searched from 1987–2011, including English, peer reviewed texts in the databases CINAHL and ABI/INFORM global. Two book chapters and grey literature were also included.
References were read and analysed according to antecedents, attributes, consequences, surrogate terms and related terms.
Defining antecedents, attributes and consequences highlight the complexity and diversity of the concept. Attributes include: sustainability as a condition of change, as process, as outcome, as dependent of multiple stakeholders, and as social consciousness. ‘Sustainability’ is a fragile concept highly dependent on the processes and stakeholders involved in its fruition. There is a distinct difference in the level of concept clarity between the disciplines of management and nursing.
The complexities associated with the concept of ‘Sustainability’ have led to its ambiguity. Nursing must, however, work to further clarify the concept to fully understand nursing's potential role in the sustainability movement.