1. Section Editor(s): Chinn, Peggy L. PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. Editor

Article Content

Translational scholarship, it seems to me, is a "natural" for nursing, given the long-standing history of literature that addresses connections between theory and practice. My own academic career began at the time that James Dickoff, Patricia James, and their colleagues published a series of articles that set in motion a line of thought that focused on the inevitable connections between scholarly work and the realities of practice.1-4


In the intervening years, even the prevailing message decrying the "gaps" between theory, research, and practice is an important symbol of nursing's abiding commitment that both knowledge and practice can only be meaningful and significant to the extent that each informs the other. As earnestly as nurse practitioners and scholars seek this ideal of knowledge and practice coming together as one, the fact remains that finding the key to a "unity" between knowledge and practice is elusive and fragile. The many attempts to build on the ideas that Dickoff and James wrote about many years ago have contributed to finding this key-including the growth in numbers of qualified nurse researcher/clinicians, the emphasis on evidence to inform practice, doctoral programs devoted to doctoral preparation of nurse clinicians, and the growing patterns that support interdisciplinary research and practice teams.


This issue of Advances in Nursing Science includes 8 articles focused on a variety of approaches that fall into the conceptual field of translational scholarship. Gweneth Hartrick Doane, Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham, Elisabeth Antifeau, and Kelli Stajduhar, in their article, titled "(Re)theorizing Integrated Knowledge Translation: A Heuristic for Knowledge-As-Action," express the general intent of their approach to translational scholarship, an intent that reflects common threads in nursing approaches:


Having located our translational work in nursing within the larger field of knowledge translation (KT) in health care, we question the way in which existing models of KT are fundamentally conceived and also the background understandings that are governing KI activities. Being particularly concerned with representational KT models that privilege the development and dissemination of research knowledge, we describe how we have reconceptualized KT as a socially involved knowledge-as-action process. We also outline an inquiry heuristic developed through our KT research for the intent of supporting nurses to enlist the best available knowledge to address practice concerns and effectively navigate the complexities of health care milieus. (page 175)


This issue also includes 2 "General Topic" articles, focusing on understanding the realm of nursing practice as embedded in specific health care milieus. Taken together, all of the articles in this issue continue the tradition of scholarship that contributes to, and has benefitted from, nursing practice in significant ways.


-Peggy L. Chinn, PhD, RN, FAAN






1. Dickoff J, James P, Wiedenbach E. Theory in a practice discipline, part 1: practice-oriented theory. Nurs Res. 1968;17:415-435. [Context Link]


2. Dickoff J, James P. A theory of theories: a position paper. Nurs Res. 1968;17:197-203. [Context Link]


3. Dickoff J, James P, Wiedenbac E. Theory in a practice discipline, part II: practice-oriented research. Nurs Res. 1968;17(6):545. [Context Link]


4. Dickoff J, James P. Researching research's role in theory development. Nurs Res. 1968;17(3):204-205. [Context Link]