History of Nursology.net

This project was conceived and developed by members of the Theory-Guided Practice Expert Panel of the American Academy of Nursing in the fall of 2017.  The members of the Expert Panel recognized a growing crisis described by Elizabeth Barrett in her article titled “What is nursing Science – Again?”  Responses to Barrett’s article by members of the Expert Panel were subsequently published in Nursing Science Quarterly, acknowledging factors that have contributed to the crisis of confidence in the discipline, and joining Barrett in a call for ongoing discussion of this question in the face of social and political forces shaping the discipline (see references below).  As an outgrowth of the discussions these writings prompted, this website was born, with initial content and features unveiled in September, 2018.  Our initial purposes reflect the concerns that prompted this project:

  • Be the nurse led, nurse developed repository providing the most current and accurate information about nursing discipline-specific knowledge that advances human betterment globally.
  • Promote nursing discipline-specific knowledge that will advance human betterment globally.
  • Facilitate dissemination of nursing knowledge across time.
  • Provide access to links to nursing theory based organizations, conferences, seminal publications and ongoing work in practice, research, education, and health policy.
  • Foster collaboration among nursing scholars at local, regional, national, and international levels.

The initial management team was chaired by Jacqueline Fawcett, and the initial website was developed by Peggy Chinn.  Members of the team were Linda Rousell,  Margaret Pharris, Marian Turkel, Rosemary Eustace, Dorothy Jones, Leslie Nicoll, Patrick Palmieri, Jane Flanagan and Danny Willis.


Barrett, E. A. M. (2017). Again, What Is Nursing Science? Nursing Science Quarterly, 30(2), 129–133. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894318417693313

Turkel, M. C., Fawcett, J., Amankwaa, L., Clarke, P. N., Dee, V., Eustace, R., … Zahourek, R. (2018). Thoughts About Nursing Curricula: Dark Clouds and Bright Lights. Nursing Science Quarterly, 31(2), 185–189. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894318418755734

Turkel, M., Fawcett, J., Chinn, P. L., Eustace, R., Hansell, P. S., Smith, M. C., … Zahourek, R. (2018). Thoughts About Advancement of the Discipline: Dark Clouds and Bright Lights. Nursing Science Quarterly, 31(1), 82–85. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894318417741121

The term “nursology”

When we first met (by phone conference) to work out how we would proceed to develop a website, our first task was to settle on a name for the site.  The first suggestion was “nursology” and we all immediately voiced agreement that this is what we would call it!  As a group of people quite familiar with the nursing theory literature,  the term was not new to us, but several of us needed a refresher to recall how and when we first knew about the term!  In fact it has been around for a long time, appearing every once in a while in the very early nursing theory literature.  Here is some background:

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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0894318415599224. 

Download a PDF of this article  (shared by permission)

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. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2648.1976.tb00958.x


Page updated January 10, 2020