As a doctoral student, the first time I was introduced to the concept or idea of Nursology was during my first year in my nursing philosophy and theory course with Dr. Pamela Reed. Prior to Dr. Reed introducing the idea of nursology to me, I had never been faced with questioning my own identity as a nurse. Now I was left wondering, am I a nurse? A nursologist? Did I practice nursing? Or Nursology? What was the rightful name of the discipline that I had dedicated all this time to? I would be lying to say that these questions did not result in deep thought for my own identity and personal pathway in nursing! I commonly referred to these moments in my doctoral education as “philosophical conundrums.” I still think that’s fitting – and I still have them today. Thus, the point of this blog is to provide nursing educators, and hopefully some nursing students, some ways in which Nursology.net (both the idea and the website) can assist in your scholarly and personal nursing journey.
This brings me to the first benefit of Nursology.net, which is introducing the idea of Nursology to nursing students at all levels. Introducing Nursology to nursing students promotes a space of self and disciplinary reflection. Students will be faced with the questions, who am I? And, where do I identify? This is a natural and important fit in our “personal” pattern of knowing – a foundation of our nursing knowledge. For me, when I was introduced to the concept of Nursology, it’s as if I experienced a Kuhnian paradigmatic shift, all from the simple introduction of a word. Not everyone may take it this way, but perhaps promoting a space of self-reflection for personal identity within nursing education can be stimulated by introducing something that may (or may not) contradict someone’s understanding of oneself and one’s work – that is the idea of Nursology.
As a website, Nursology.net has many benefits that can promote nursing students success throughout their academics. Starting with coursework, Nursology.net is a space in which nursing students have the ability to utilize an open access and free resource, which promotes inclusion in academic nursing (very important), for nursing knowledge. We all know that nursing knowledge (let’s say academic papers or books) are not always available to everyone – especially internationally. Also, searching for literature is in itself a skill that takes time to foster. With Nursology.net much of the foundational nursing knowledge we expect nursing students to understand is readily available. For example, at Nursology.net we have a page dedicated just to nursing philosophy with brief explanations as well as references to seminal articles for both ontology and epistemology. Additionally, Nursology has an archive of a variety of theories and models at all different levels from nursologists/nurse scientists from around the world and across time. For doctoral nursing students, and I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences yourselves, oftentimes they struggle with “fitting” theories to their scholarly work. At Nursology.net we not only encourage them to move away from “fitting” theory to their important work, but we also promote a space in which they can “see” how diverse and useful nursing theory can be. Sometimes that knowledge may be available on a page, and other times that may be in an innovative blog.
So let’s talk a bit about comprehensive or qualifying exams – every doctoral student’s favorite topic. After students have completed their coursework, oftentimes we ask them to show to some degree that they have the foundational nursing knowledge they need to complete their dissertation successfully. During my comprehensive exams, there were times in which Nursology.net became a reference because there were no other references available on that topic. For example, one instance I can think of is a definition and example of a situation-specific theory. Nursology.net offers not only a definition, but also provides historical background in the development of situation-specific theories. My point here is that introducing Nursology.net as a resource to your nursing students is an inclusive way to promote the learning of foundational nursing knowledge that may assist your students throughout their academics. Regarding nursing student research, one of the more recent endeavors we have initiated is assistance for them during data collection. Specifically, we are now offering support for nursing students in their recruitment of participants in order to complete their degree requirements in nursing (e.g., PhD, DNP, EdD, etc.). Going forward, we intend to showcase student research projects on Nursology.net. This means that their study would be shared with an international audience, which perhaps could help them complete their study in a more timely manner while contributing to the development of nursing knowledge!
The last point I wanted to make for you is one in regards to the idea of community. Nursing education can be an isolating and lonely experience. As educators, we only have so much time in our day to advise and mentor students – although I can assuredly say I would duplicate myself to do more if I could. That being said, Nursology.net is a way in which a community can be fostered for nursing students. To me, community in academia means many things. Community can be scholarly – those who give you feedback to grow, and community can be a means of social or moral support – those who offer you sage wisdom when things get difficult. Nursology.net has the ability to function as both of those types of communities. Firstly, nursing students have the ability to publish blogs on areas they may be interested in and navigate a mini peer-review process. By publishing blogs, nursing students can enter into a conversation about their thoughts and their work with other students and scholars through commentary. Advice can be shared, suggestions can be made, and new ideas created. Secondly, nursing students can be in the “know” what is happening in the nursing community as it relates to nursing knowledge. For example, when I attended the Nursing Theory Conference hosted by Case Western a few years ago that was my second introduction to Nursology. Since that conference, I have integrated into the Nursology community which has afforded me great friends and mentors that I know I can turn to if I experience something difficult – whether professional as well as personally. From that event we developed a group of nursing students and scholars called the Nursology Theory Collective, where we have the mission to advance the discipline of nursing/nursology through equitable and rigorous knowledge development using innovative nursing theory in all settings of practice, education, research, and policy. Both nursology and the nursology theory collective are open to all, and having that peer support along with mentorship can be a critical factor to promote the success of doctoral students.
So, in summary whats in Nursology.net for nursing students?
- Introducing the concept of Nursology can promote a space of personal and disciplinary reflection for nursing students.
- Nursology.net is an inclusive resource for nursing students to enhance the learning of foundational nursing knowledge throughout their academics.
- Nursology.net can offer support for nursing students in their recruitment of participants in order to complete their degree requirements in nursing.
- Nursology.net is a way in which a community can be fostered for nursing students.
Has Nursology.net benefited you in other ways as a nursing student or educator?
Comment below and share with us your experience!