The University of British Columbia, School of Nursing

Contributor: Suzanne Hetzel Campbell
January 20, 2020

Bringing a lived experience to nursing philosophy, theory, and frameworks: Theoretical Frameworks of Nursing Practice (N511)

Location: University of British Columbia School of Nursing, Vancouver, BC
Key Faculty

NURS 511 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Practice has been an integral part of graduate education at the University of British Columbia School of Nursing for the past few decades. It’s current evolution involved many faculty, those teaching and tweaking it the past few years have included: Dr. Sally Thorne, Dr. Geertje Boschma, Dr. Susan Dahinten, Dr. Wendy Hall, Dr. Jennifer Kryworuchko, Dr. Cheryl Segaric, Dr. Angela Wolff & Dr. Sabrina Wong. The video presented in this blog was created by Dr. Suzanne H. Campbell course faculty September 2019 and Ismalia De Sousa, PhD Student/Teaching Assistant for NURS 511.

Description of curriculum

This is a required core course for all nursing graduate students and is intended to assist in their journey to master’s preparation. Communicating clearly and effectively orally and in writing, and the development of conceptual thinking are part of the skills necessary for success in a graduate program. Recognizing the connection between intellectual endeavors and graduate nurses increased skills are intended to be in service of enhancing nursing practice. This course aims to explore what guides nurses’ thinking in practice; how the development of nursing knowledge and theory has shaped nurses’ approaches to practice; and how our ways of thinking about knowledge affect our responses to practice. The course also provides an opportunity to reflect on how developing theories and analyzing concepts can contribute to advancing nursing practice and, ultimately, solving nursing problems and questions regarding people’s health. See course details here.

Student Evaluation

Given the seminar format of the course, students are responsible for reading and critical reflection on the assignments. To assist with this process, students were paired to do a formal presentation of key articles and led class discussion to unpack the information and application to theory, philosophy, practice, and research. Class participation marks were assigned using a rubric from strong to adequate or inadequate participation in areas of listening/reading, preparation, quality of contributions, impact on seminar or on-line discussion and frequency of participation. In addition, students wrote two papers for the course, one a critical reflection on van Woerkom’s article: (2010) Critical reflection as a rationalistic ideal. Adult Education Quarterly, 60(4), 339-356. doi: 10.1177/0741713609358446.

The second assignment was a critical reflection on a concept of interest, incorporating literature with definitions, theoretical, philosophical and multi-disciplinary lens. Desiring to bring a lived experience to nursing philosophy, theory, and frameworks and to reinforce the journey of the authors they were studying, I asked some of the experts whose articles they had read and analyzed to briefly describe their thoughts about “The future of nursing theory”. This superb video was the result.



Availability of this video occurred at the end of the term and was part of an on-line learning experience without enough time for debriefing. Future advice – include earlier in the course and allow time for discussion, perhaps invite speakers to a virtual class for further unpacking and conversation.


Active conversation with my colleagues about the future of nursing theory, reinforcement of the journey they experienced and that we are still in process. Suggest faculty using this video and create some key questions for further discussion. These might include:

  1. What is the comment about the future of nursing theory that you found best resonates for you?
  2. Are there assumptions made about the future of nursing theory that reflect the presenters line of reasoning? How so?
  3. What was the main ‘take-away’ for you and how does this relate to nursing practice in your view?