The following terms are central to the mission and purposes of this website:

Nursology:  A name for our discipline; a body of knowledge, a research methodology, and a practice methodology about and for phenomena of concern to nurses.

See Fawcett, J., Aronowitz, T., AbuFannouneh, A., Al Usta, M., Fraley, H. E., Howlett, M. S. L., Mtengezo, J. T., et al. (2015). Thoughts about the Name of Our Discipline. Nursing science quarterly, 28(4), 330–333. 

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See also two historically significant articles related to the term:

Paterson, J. G. (1971). From a philosophy of clinical nursing to a method of nursology. Nursing Research, 20(2), 143-146.

Roper, N. (1976), A model for nursing and nursology. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 1(3), 219-227.

Definition of “Nursology” from Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 9th edition. © 2009, Elsevier; retrieved from – 

Etymology: L, nutrix, nurse; Gk, logos, science

a conceptual framework for the study and practice of nursing. It requires the nurse to interact with the patient in an “authentic” way, without aloofness and the distance of professionalism; the nurse must take the risk of caring. As a method, nursology requires that the nurse cut through the defenses and fears that prevent self-knowledge. The nurse tries to know the patient on an intuitive, subjective level and then, using reflection, on an objective, scientific level. The nurse recognizes that each person has an “angular view” of the whole truth. Comparison of the views of others is necessary for a perspective that allows a synthesis, often paradoxic but closer to the truth than any one person’s angular view. Nursology is intended to provide a model for nursing methods and research. The nurse and the patient have the opportunity to grow, and the science of nursing may emerge from the “angular” investigations and syntheses.

Nurse: A person is who a member of the discipline of nursology; a nursologist

Nursing:  A process of actions taken by nurses, including assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, and documentation.

Nursing knowledge

Metaparadigm:  The global concepts that identify the phenomena of central interest to a discipline, the global propositions that describe the concepts, and the global propositions that state the relations between the concepts

Philosophy: A statement encompassing ontological claims about the phenomena of central interest to a discipline, epistemic claims about how those phenomena come to be known, and ethical claims about what the members of a discipline value.

Conceptual model: A set of relatively abstract and general concepts that address the phenomena of central interest to a discipline, the propositions that broadly describe those concepts, and the propositions that state relatively abstract and general relations between two or more of the concepts.

Theory: One or more relatively concrete and specific concepts that are derived from a conceptual model, the propositions that narrowly describe those concepts, and the propositions that state relatively concrete and specific relations between two or more of the concepts.   Theories are less abstract than conceptual models and, unlike conceptual models, can be empirically tested. Grand theories are broad in scope. They are made up of concepts and propositions that are less abstract and general than the concepts and propositions of a conceptual model but are not as concrete and specific as the concepts and propositions of a middle‑range theory; conceptual models are referred to as grand theories by some authors.

Middle‑range theories: are narrower in scope than grand theories. They are made up of a limited number of concepts and propositions that are written at a relatively concrete and specific level. Situation-specific theories are even narrower in scope than middle-range theories; they focus on a specific population with a specific health condition.