The nursing ways of knowing are the various sources of information that nurses use in order to provide their patients with care and to better understand them. In nursing there are many different ways of knowing, including aesthetic, personal, ethical and empirical knowledge.
Scientific research and evidence-based practices are the basis for empirical knowledge. This knowledge can be acquired by objective observation, experiments, and data analysis. In nursing, empirical knowledge is essential because it helps nurses make evidence-based decisions.
Aesthetic knowledge refers to the ways in which nurses use their senses and emotions to interpret and respond to their patients’ needs. The basis of this type is subjective experiences, intuition and creativity. The ability to use aesthetic knowledge to care for patients in a compassionate, holistic manner is a valuable asset.
Ethics knowledge is the set of moral and ethics principles that guides nursing practice. The knowledge that is used in this type of practice comes from values like respecting patient autonomy, beneficence and non-maleficence. It is important for nurses to have ethical knowledge in order to be able make decisions that are difficult about the care of patients while keeping their obligations as professionals.
Personal knowledge refers to the nurse’s own experiences, beliefs, and values that shape their understanding of the patient and their care needs. It is this knowledge that allows nurses to provide personalized care and connect on a more personal level with patients.
The term emancipatory refers to how nurses empower their patients and work towards social justice. The knowledge that is used in this type is critical in nature, based on an analysis of social injustices, power structures and nursing’s role in health equity.
In order to achieve better patient outcomes, nursing science is driven by evidence-based research. The nursing science includes a variety of approaches and methods, such as quantitative, mixed-methods, qualitative and other research techniques. Other disciplines like psychology, biology, sociology and social work have also had an influence on nursing science.
Nursing science in recent years has been focused on the development of interventions and strategies that improve patient outcomes. These include reducing infections acquired at hospitals, improving patient safety and satisfaction, as well as decreasing hospital-acquired infection rates. Research in nursing has explored how social and culture factors influence healthcare and health, such as health disparities or cultural competency.
The nursing way of knowing, along with the advancement of nursing science, are all interrelated. Nursing practice relies on both objective and subjective information, while research is vital to improving nursing outcomes and advancing knowledge.