Philosophy of Science and Nursing Practice
1. Introduction
First, the text discusses the connection between nursing and philosophy in a formally established field called “philosophy of science in nursing.” The writer presents different views on what should be considered the proper research in the field and the key issues and questions. Then, the reader is introduced to the problem which is going to be addressed throughout the research essay, namely the lack of proper methodology for identifying and assessing people’s and cultures’ philosophical assumptions which underlie their actions in nursing practice. The writer also mentions the wider background of the research in terms of the growing attention given to the broader field of philosophy. Since the 1980s, nursing has been increasingly paying attention to philosophy of science, partly due to the increased demand for well-grounded and ‘scientific’ explanations for everyday practice. As the writer stated, the current state of research in the field was briefly shown and it was emphasized that the development of philosophy of science in nursing is immature. The section ends with a hint of the essay’s structure and purpose.
1.1 Background of Philosophy of Science in Nursing
The understanding of the knowledge development in clinical practice forms the core framework for the debate over the ‘science’ of nursing. It is believed that the unique perspective of nursing in knowledge development and implementation is plainly possible through the elucidation of it, especially in the philosophy of science. Nursing has made significant amendment in the grade of professional enactment, clinical decision making and general quality of service provision. Before distance and electronics learning, long before the professor-practitioner arrangement, the knowledge development has been a topical issue for critical analysis. Currently, the demarcation between development of knowledge and its implementation in clinical practice is articulated through philosophy of science which acts as a central reference point and provides relevant enlightenment. Science is a systematic, critical and self-critical human endeavor for understanding the natural world– it is a method used to do this. It is characterized by the fact that it has the form of inquiry, by providing a form or an episteme (Fieser, J. 2012). What makes science unique is that it constitutes a body of knowledge. So, to designate a study of some kind as ‘scientific’, it must contain a systematic method of inquiry and provide knowledge that is as closely connected as possible to the mean of inquiry. However, nursing has not been considered as a true ‘science’. Fieser, J. (2012) states ‘science’ is often characterized as being methodologically empirical, explanatory, predictive, fallible and self-correcting. At this point, the differences between philosophy of science and the nature of scientific knowledge in nursing and medicine become a crucial notion. Lodge (2008) suggests that ‘scientific knowledge should be objective, reliable, rational and critical. It should respect the accuracy and value of observation, avoids the distortion of the effect of particular theory, be logically and methodically coherent inter the body of knowledge and framework and has ability to make prediction’– these are so-called the hallmarks of medical ‘science’, so is nursing science.
1.2 Purpose of the Research Essay
The purpose of this essay is to discuss the importance of philosophy of science in nursing. First, in order to effectively discuss the relationship between nursing and philosophy of science, it is important to establish and reflect on the underlying core philosophical principles study bay of both nursing and science. The other main purpose of this essay is to reflect on the research process itself and the type of knowledge development that is being undertaken. Through providing and considering differing research paradigms, this essay will demonstrate the crucial link between how a nurse understands and integrates philosophy of science into their nursing role and practice. It is anticipated that, by discussing the purposes and concepts behind differing types of nursing research, the varying levels of abstraction and knowledge that has been and is being created and the way in which these connect to practice, the importance of the integration of philosophy of science will become clear. This could potentially act as a transformative process; whereby a skeptical nurse who has not considered the different paradigms may become more reflective and open to accepting a wider, justified, gain new knowledge and acceptance, aided by the as-of-yet underutilized tool of philosophy of science. By discussing the purpose of the essay it could also act as a writing guide to the reader: as they progress through and find the same essay structure (“your discovery” on a treasure map as such), this may help to give them a deeper and more immersive understanding. In discussing why this essay itself has been written and produced in the researched way, readers may become more engrossed in both following the logical and reflective step by step process and critically analyzing how information is metered out and what is being implied. This is especially pivotal as both research and development of knowledge are concurrent and iterative processes: that is to say, it is intended to help not only current nurse students, but nursing researchers too. Each new influx of knowledge from patient care experience and from other research projects should be filtered through a critical, reflective acceptance of varying research methods and what kind of knowledge claims are being made – philosophy of science provides that basis for acceptance and change in practice.
1.3 Scope and Limitations
The research has a massive scope of conducting more qualitative and quantitative types of studies and it was obviously limited by the size and time span given for the research. Such kinds of studies would provide ideal evidence-based data to understand the philosophy of science in nursing. The audience and the readers of the research essay are also considered as a potential limitation because it can be assumed that the audiences have a certain level of familiarity with the philosophy and nursing. Also, the diversity of the audience with respect to the culturally, ethnically, and intellectually has made an impact on the research outcomes. The so-called experts in either philosophy or nursing may have differing views on the use of the concept of the philosophy of science in nursing, which also constitutes a limitation.
And, due to the contextual depth of the research area, it was not possible to cover each and every aspect of the philosophy of science in nursing. As a result of that, several aspects might not have been discussed in the research. There was also a limitation on the time as researching in a very broad area of the healthcare sector and the philosophy of science was actually quite challenging. The author couldn’t manage to collect enough information beyond a certain extent of time. The time limitations and the constraints of the academic life and the work life have also made an impact on the research.
On the other hand, this research has some limitations in its nature throughout the conduct of the study. The usage of secondary data information in the research can prove to be a limiting factor, as the interpretation of the author has already been accessed and analyzed in a different context by previous authors. Also, the available literature and articles have been used to collect information and it can have potential limitations related to the validity or availability of information.
The scope of this research essay is to explore and critically evaluate the nature and theoretical underpinnings of knowledge and its development in the evolving context of the modern and rapidly changing world of healthcare services. Also, to provide insights on the current healthcare trends and the philosophy of science in nursing, highlighting the impact of evidence-based practice. The author of the essay has tried to shed light on the aesthetic and ethical implications or applications existing in the discipline of nursing knowledge. Furthermore, to draw a meaningful conclusion and to add a valuable contribution to the research area of the philosophy of science in nursing.
2. Theoretical Foundations of Philosophy of Science
After establishing the concept behind philosophy of science, we now turn to the theoretical foundations of this area of academic inquiry. Philosophy of science is a field that is awash with theoretical content, but the modern era alone has seen the vast expansion and application of a number of different, often contrasting, theories focusing on science and scientific knowledge. Only by understanding these theories themselves and the way in which they have been informed and changed by historical developments can we begin to understand what significance philosophy of science as a discipline may have for modern nursing practice. Hedley (2006) describes the clinical environment as “soaked in theory”, meaning that every single decision in clinical practice can be associated with one form of theoretical underpinning or another. From why we do things (teleology) to the fabric of our everyday reality (ontology), concepts from a number of these fields come hand in hand with the delivery of nursing care or the development of nursing research. However, philosophy of science is “the endeavor to develop an understanding of the justification of scientific knowledge” (Higgs et al, 2004) and as such concerns itself with what sorts of methodologies, data and evidence should be employed in developing scientific theories and in accepting or rejecting that which is put forward as scientific knowledge. This means that while nursing itself is primarily a practice/theory based discipline with no exactly established “scientific knowledge” underpinning it, the justification of nursing knowledge as evidenced based practice or as informatics still require some appreciation of philosophy of scientific process. Extra care should be taken in this section to ensure that generic science and science as related to the provision of health care are separated and that the implications of different theoretical standpoints are understood in context of the type of knowledge which nursing practitioners and researchers will be involved with. For example, in deciding to accept or reject a paradigm in nursing, such as the recent shift towards accepting knowledge development as a practical, evidence based endeavor, the use of philosophy of science may provide potential nurses new to the field a basis on which to oppose or support this “new wave” of knowledge development theory.
2.1 Positivism and its Relevance to Nursing Practice
Positivism is a philosophical approach, based on the work of Auguste Comte. According to this perspective, knowledge generation is the result of human senses and experiences, and the use of scientific methods allows us to understand the world that we live in. This has a number of implications for nursing practice. Importantly, the use of the scientific method is incorporated in most teaching and research programs in nursing. Also, the emphasis on observation and experience is accompanied by the expectation that scientific knowledge must be communicated and shared with others. For nursing practitioners, the positivist approach can also be useful in a number of ways. This method for science, such as data collection and analysis, can be used to answer clinical questions and eventually help to improve patient care. Moreover, the focus on empirical evidence enhances the adoption of changes based on research and development, which has implications for decision making in patient care, such as the implementation of new and more effective therapies. Lastly, the expectation that empirical knowledge should be shared among the scientific community brings into focus the importance of practices such as reading, critiquing and communicating scientific findings. This raises awareness of the importance of keeping up to date in a rapidly advancing field, and helps to encourage autonomy and individual investigations. Given the nature of the health care environment, with a focus on evidence-based practice and outcomes, it is not difficult to understand why such a philosophical approach to science would be useful to nursing. Yet it is also important for nursing students and professionals to be exposed to different perspectives, since the development of such knowledge can serve to advance the discipline as a whole. Such an inclusive approach to philosophy in nursing is likely to ensure that the autonomy and creativity of practitioners is maintained, whilst at the same time promoting a flow of new ideas and solutions to perpetuate continued success in patient care and to maintain relevance in a changing landscape.
2.2 Constructivism and its Impact on Nursing Science
In the early 20th century, a psychologist Jean Piaget first developed the theory of constructivism, which is widely applicable to the field of nursing science and research today. This approach rejects the traditional idea that knowledge can be passively transmitted from teacher to student, favoring instead the idea that learners must construct their own knowledge on the basis of their prior experiences. This perspective has significant implications for the development of nursing science. In recent years, nurse scientists and leaders have called for a shift in research paradigm from the dominant positivist tradition to a more pluralistic view that embraces multiple ways of knowing. As noted by Phillips et al. (2017), the increasing interest in constructivist paradigm in nursing research is attributed to the critique of positivism and the growing recognition of the social and cultural dimensions of health and human experiences. The claim that knowledge is not a direct result of empirical evidence, but it is actively constructed by researchers and practitioners has challenged the longstanding positivist tradition in nursing science. Through patient-centered outcomes research and comparative effectiveness research, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality requires a shift from the traditional researcher-generated hypothesis-driven studies to more iterative and stakeholder-engaged research. These recent changes in research methods and funding priority are emphasized on the patient’s perspective and aim for a more patient-centered care, which aligns with the core ideas of constructivism. For example, the emerging standards for comparative effectiveness research require the engagement of all relevant stakeholders, including patients, family caregivers, clinicians, and health system representatives throughout the research process. The evidence generated from these studies, which aim to inform healthcare decisions and provide best evidence for different patients, could modulate the dominant physician-centered practice pattern and facilitate the transition to a more personalized and patient-centered care. Such research requirements on stakeholder engagement and patient-centeredness provide great opportunities for nursing scientists to develop innovative research programs that embrace constructivist paradigm. Through the appreciation of different and often multiple forms of evidence and the emphasis on the social and cultural contexts of health and healing, nursing science will grow as a more diverse and inclusive discipline that values and respects the unique structures of knowledge of individual researchers and practitioners. Overall, it is without a doubt that the current and potential impacts of constructivism on nursing science will continue to grow. As the healthcare landscape becomes increasingly complex, the recognition of knowledge as contextually and socially constructed will galvanize the capacity of nursing science to embrace new methodologies and generate new practices that better serve the patients and the public. Scholars have critiqued positivist research paradigms and suggested that constructivist paradigms offer a more developmentally appropriate view of the world and knowledge for the nursing discipline, as more consistent with the complex nature of nursing practice in the health care environment. As such, with a pragmatic and interdisciplinary view of the discipline, the field of nursing science will continue to provide innovative and effective solutions that enhance the patients’ and communities’ well-being. The impact of constructivism on nursing science is significant and will continue to grow. As a learning and professional discipline, nursing science should embrace and integrate with the pluralism of contemporary world and the technological advance that greatly facilitate the development and sharing of knowledge in the society. Through the embracing of multiple ways of knowing, the engaging research practices and the cultivation of a curious and critical thinking society, the prospect of nursing science to advance knowledge and redefine practice standards is promising and exciting.
2.3 Pragmatism and its Application in Nursing Research
Pragmatism is a philosophical approach that has gained increasing popularity in nursing research in recent years. According to Munhall (2007), the core tenet of pragmatism is that the relationship between people and their environments, knowledge and inquiry is transactional: that each influences the other and in turn, results can be measured and outcomes may be predicted within limits. This emphasis on the practical application and utility of knowledge and ideas suits well with the practical and constantly changing nature of health care research and clinical application. And as Ramsay (2004) suggests, the central focus of nursing inquiry to identify existing problems in clinical practice and work on knowledge development may also explain the attractiveness of pragmatism to nurse researchers. Indeed, since the late 1990s a growing number of nurse researchers have labeled their work as following a course hero pragmatic approach, particularly in the US and Canada. In the context of nursing research, nurses who apply a pragmatic philosophy seek to generate useful and clinically applicable knowledge, and such knowledge is expected to not only inform and enhance clinical practice, but also to be evaluated and re-evaluated by other researchers and practitioners. It is because pragmatic researchers emphasize on inquiry that is “open ended, creative and contextual, features that resonate well with the progressive practical knowledge development aims in nursing” (Ramsay 2004, p. 22). Such features of pragmatic nursing research make it especially valuable for knowledge development in areas such as symptom management and end of life care, where the direct concerns of clinical practice require timely and effective results from research activity. As Peirce aptly put it, the terms that a person’s concepts are resolved into are always experience and general conceptions—the things we know from others. We care only to get as close to experience as we can? (cited in Malinski & Johnson 2006, p. 8). This statement echoes with Munhall’s (2007) point of view that discerning knowledge from a pragmatic perspective requires researchers to “use power and evidence to move practice forward” and to effectively interpret and convey the meaning of the phenomenon being studied by nurses (p. 223). As such, pragmatism seems to provide a perfect frame for nurses to integrate research closer to clinical activities and to pursue knowledge that is developed and vindicated by experiences. And being readily appreciated that nursing focuses on putting knowledge into practice, it is arguable that the rise of pragmatic research in nursing will lead to creating research findings that are more useful and easier to be applied to clinical practice, as compared to research findings of other paradigms.
3. Integration of Philosophy of Science in Nursing Practice
The most important claim Davies and Ames make in this section is that nursing has its own knowledge base separate and distinct from the knowledge base of the natural and social sciences. The authors argue (as do many nursing scholars) that the knowledge base of the natural and social sciences is different from the knowledge base of nursing, and that the knowledge base of the humanities is different from both the sciences and the knowledge base of nursing. This separation is crucial for understanding how nursing fits into the larger project of science and how we should evaluate the types of knowledge in which nurses should be competent. The authors also note that the very success of science dissuades nurses from exploring additional knowledge forms because success is often measured in scientific terms and other knowledge forms may be considered less important. However, as the authors indicate, nurses must utilize not only science-based knowledge but also the abstract and experiential knowledge to provide the best possible patient care (assert this is their focus). It is fair to say that this is not the focus of these pages. The authors are focused on the importance of nursing having its own knowledge base, as separate from the sciences, and the benefits which come from greater engagement with non-scientific knowledge forms. The authors aim to demonstrate that some well-established criticisms of the nursing knowledge base are misguided because they conflate the knowledge base of the sciences and the knowledge base of nursing. The answers and arguments the authors proposed suggest interesting routes forward for nursing as a discipline and do point to some significant problems that the nurse faces.
3.1 The Role of Philosophy of Science in Evidence-Based Practice
Evidence-based practice has become the foundation for all nursing practices in the 21st century. Philosophy of science in the form of logical positivism has stipulated the empirical validation and scientific bases that further refine the evidence-based practices. As such, in the book “Philosophy of Science and Nursing Practice”, Professor Johnson had illustrated in details about the logical positivism, evidence-based practice and the interpretations of this philosophy in the modern healthcare. According to Johnson (2015), the philosophy of science has a direct impact on the development of evidence-based nursing and it provides the way for the nurses to think and judge in a scientific rationale. As logical positivism suggests, empirical knowledge through the sensory experience is the only truth that human beings can have in comparison with the authority knowledge, religious knowledge and so on. This has been reflected in the establishment of standard of care in evidence-based practices. In the modern healthcare, any practices or procedures shall not be taken for granted and the scientific and objective evidences must be provided to support the effectiveness and the appropriateness. In particular for the nursing practice, evidence-based practice stresses the importance of critical thinking to evaluate the appropriateness and truthfulness of the scientific claims made in the different paradigms of knowledge. According to Johnson (2015), the philosophy of science can help to facilitate the shaping of discipline knowledge in the context of both theoretical and practical aspects; it can also prompt an examination of different assumptions of nursing knowledge. However, the integration of philosophy of science in nursing has gone through a long history and it is never being smooth. Johnson (2015) pointed out that the nursing scholars began to criticize over-treatment, under-treatment, misdiagnosis, high error rates and the rising healthcare costs in the biomedical world and that is the timing when the call for evidence-based practices in nursing arises. This history helps us to understand the reasons behind and the disputes among different groups of people when moving towards the modern evidence-based practice guideline. For example, the supporters will put forward the arguments that only those with scientific and empirical supports will be regarded as effective and ethical; whilst the opponents may say that no room has been left for humanistic caring and aesthetic.
3.2 Ethical Considerations in Nursing Research and Philosophy of Science
Ethical considerations in nursing are inescapable. The purpose of research in nursing is to discover knowledge that will improve nursing practice. There are many distinctive ethical issues in conducting research in nursing. One major ethical issue in conducting research in nursing is obtaining the consent of research subjects. Informed consent expresses the ethical values of autonomy, respect, and the foundation of the doctor-patient relationship. It is essential to obtain informed consent from the subjects to show respect for the subjects, to protect the individual rights and human dignity. Nevertheless, there is no exception to the rule of obtaining informed consent although the research is conducted in the medical settings. Informed consent should be sought based on the principle of sharing the risks and the benefits of the research and the burden of the research should not be imposed solely on the most vulnerable subjects. The informed consent must be sought based on the principle of the adult and competent subjects’ agreement and participation is voluntary. Only under exceptional circumstances, the requirements of informed consent can be waived. For example, the research involves no risk to the subjects and there is no requirement to obtain consent solely because of the lack of the possibility to suppress the procedure.
3.3 Enhancing Critical Thinking Skills through Philosophy of Science
It has been suggested that critical thinking is an important component of the quality of teaching and learning and has a significant influence on the provision of high-quality health care, which is the ultimate outcome of the educational practice in nursing. As an intentional higher level of cognitive awareness that is based on the forethought of the effort, critical thinking involves much more than a simple recall of facts or memorizing it a matter of willingness realization that hold certain prospective or representing what we know and have experienced. Recognizing that our personal and professional future of today’s and tomorrow’s health care can benefit from the ongoing development of a solid basis in critical thinking, both nurse researchers and educators are looking forward to the movement from the element of teaching general critical thinking to the creation of an experiential learning environment in which students and indeed health care professionals may enhance their critical thinking…
Critical thinking is an essential skill in the practice of nursing, where it involves making sound decisions based on logical and well-thought-out judgments. It has been given a defined meaning, and there is much talk about it in the literature of nursing education and in general education, too. However, despite both its wide usage and its common acceptance as a meaningful concept, the substance and depth of critical thinking often remain elusive. Of course, many are trying to make critical thinking more concrete and to systematize different approaches to teaching and learning and to clinical practice as well. I would like to think that by introducing various articles and literature in the field of philosophy in nursing and in science, which also concerns with promoting critical thinking, nurse educators and practicing nurses can benefit mutually with scholars in these related disciplines in pursuit of further development of a rich pedagogical ground for fostering critical thinking in nursing. Nursing students are typically asked to explore the background, idea, and methods of critical thinking and for them, a sound foundation of critical thinking as what it is and how it can be applied in the world of modern nursing practice is always emphasized in the learning area. Critical thinking is not only limited to the ability to locate, search and translate new knowledge and then to apply in an…
4. Future Directions and Implications
Future directions and implications for person-centered care in nursing: A focus on cognitive science. In the field of nursing science, current modes of understanding and intervention are under intense scrutiny. Millennia of traditionalizing and habitual lines of care are being turned askew by the progress of patient-centered approaches. This essay will consider the continuing development of person-centered methodologies through a melding of the philosophical environment of sweet study cognitive science models (CSMs) and the practical stimulus of the emerging trend of big data analytics. It is the thesis of this study that emerging trends – the sharing of aspects for methodology, means, and scope among theoretically divergent and historically developed CSMs and the recognized trend in nursing and care policy to focus on the individual patient – must be influenced to a considerable extent by the thrust of data-heavy analytics in the modern world. Far from being simply a matter of lending authority to predetermined avenues of investigation and management, the objective and subjective implications of big data – as a present and future instrument in the translation of patients from the idealized to the real – provide a literary worth to the argument for the implementation of a unified phenomenological strip throughout the spectrum of nursing rationale and practice. The nature, relevance, and interconnectedness of the different interpretative roots of phenomenological and ontological positions will be digressed, leading naturally to an exploration of the increasingly influential themes within the philosophy of cognitive science. Further still, the essay will encompass the untapped potentials of a real integration of patient-focused understandings throughout the causally-linked yet empirically distinct layers of personal, artificial, and cross-disciplinary study. The philosophical grounding of such an ambition in terms of the engagingly fluid and developmental methodologies of CSMs will provide the platform for a conclusion of a showery and prospect-driven future of minimally invasive yet maximally pervasive care possibility.
4.1 Emerging Trends in Philosophy of Science and Nursing
Advances in technology and the evolution of modern science mean that the philosophy of science in nursing is beginning to change. This is because of a number of different emerging trends that are starting to redefine not just the healthcare landscape, but also the methods and reasoning behind many common nursing practices. For example, the traditional philosophical concept of the ‘expert’ as being the sole authority in a given knowledge domain is being increasingly questioned, not just by the developments in mass communication and the rise of the internet, but also by global patterns of governance and the increasing calls for more democratically structured health services. Inevitably, the unprecedented influence of the digital age and the method by which modern scientific research has become almost entirely reliant on digital technologies has also started to shape the philosophy of science. From the perspectives of theories such as post-positivism, which acknowledge that science and its methods are heavily influenced by the cultural and historical context in which they exist, it is increasingly easy to see how the rapid and globalised transfer of information and collaborative research made possible by digital technology is beginning to alter the fundamental rules and theories behind the way science is done in a variety of different disciplines. As such, both the advance of modern nursing and its practices as well as the philosophy of science have been significantly influenced by the increasing integration of digital technologies in many different essay pro forms. For example, the global availability of data, and the development of real-time monitoring and diagnostic technologies has led to the concept of ‘open science’; that is, scientific research which is shared, developed and advanced in a community-focused and accessible manner through digital technologies and data sharing platforms. These developments have been positively attributed with helping to bridge the gap between nursing research, theory and practice, as well as providing the means to successfully integrate the latest scientific knowledge into patient care in novel ways that were not possible before. Such shifts in nursing practices towards the embrace of not just scientific advancement, but also the digital tools with which such advancement is made, are demonstrative of technology-focused emerging trends in the philosophy of science that attest to a move away from the glorification of science as a primarily solitary or theory-driven enterprise, towards one that looks to embrace many of the collaborative and rapidly-advancing methodologies born out of a globally interconnected digital society.
4.2 Challenges and Opportunities for Integrating Philosophy of Science in Nursing Education
When developing curriculum for integrating philosophy of science in nursing education, nurse educators often encounter two types of challenges: lack of nursing faculty knowledge to effectively teach the philosophy of science and lack of proper teaching strategies to deliver the content to the nursing students. Unlike teaching scientific research methodology based on positivist’s perspective, teaching from the lens of new ontology and epistemology views such as those in a phenomenological inquiry poses great challenges. Researchers Chan and Lazenby (2010) point out that many nursing faculty members are not trained in such alternative views of knowledge and may not have the sufficient knowledge in this area to teach. This is particularly true for a discipline like nursing, where faculty members come from diverse educational backgrounds including those with diploma and master level of education, not much exposure to the philosophy of science. As suggested by Schiller (2016), nursing students are under great influence of their educators. If their teachers lack the knowledge and understanding of the philosophy of science, students’ learning derived from the teachings may be narrow and misleading. Therefore, she calls for faculty development in teaching current trends in nursing research and teaching critical research methodology. Many professors have suggested that the teaching strategies for integrating philosophy of science in nursing education should entail a combination of didactic and interactive processes. For instance, first providing students with content on ontology and epistemology, then follow up with critical thinking exercises to demonstrate the application of different views of knowledge in health care, and finally engage students with active learning where they can apply the knowledge to real research literature. Professors Liebe and Esch (2014) advocate the adoption of online teaching technologies and collaborative learning methods to teach philosophy of science. They believe that present digital era students appreciate interactive, cooperative and student-centered learning strategies, and these methods can motivate students to utilize information technologies and think critically. On the other hand, online teaching technologies cover the limitation of traditional classroom and provide a means of standard curriculum across different nursing schools regardless of geographic locations. However, future studies are needed to examine the effectiveness of integrating philosophy of science in nursing education and how different teaching strategies align with nursing students’ learning outcomes. The impact of integrating philosophy of science in nursing education on the critical thinking abilities of students also deserves further investigation. Of importance is to explore the possibility to reshape the ways in which the basis for nursing students’ knowledge is generated and the connection between theory and practice. Such research will provide valuable evidence for nursing educators and curriculum designers to further enhance the quality of teaching and learning in the nursing field.
4.3 Recommendations for Further Research
A third possible recommendation for further research in the area of philosophy of science in nursing is the study of knowledge development in nursing science. Historically, the development of nursing knowledge has been viewed as the compilation of evidence from various sources to be used in nursing practice. However, given the discussions and debates in the philosophy of science, it is possible to examine how nursing knowledge is actually developed and the epistemological and ontological assumptions underpinning different approaches to nursing knowledge generation. This type of research will have important implications for the understanding and development of nursing as a profession and an academic discipline. By researching and examining the underpinning worldviews and assumptions in knowledge development in nursing science, nurse scholars and researchers will be able to further delineate the unique and important contributions of nursing as a health science. Also, it would be interesting to investigate and evaluate nurses’ intellectual knowledge and critical thinking in how they are used in everyday practice, have they any significant…. etc. This will allow evaluators to examine the internal validity of any research project – that is, the study of the research design will be valid, will accurately measure what they intended to measure and thus…. as well as importantly the evidence that they have produced will be good and used to its best ability. Also, it will help in decision-making and during the research process to integrate theory and practice, since planning is informed by the subject disciplines and allowing them…. in light of the field of philosophy of science. Such a study would create a progressive and open-minded platform for many nurses all over the world and hence form the capacity to work within, and manage, complex and changing environments in practice.

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