1. Chinn, Peggy L. PhD, RN, FAAN, Editor

Article Content


In April 1988, Volume 10:3 of Advances in Nursing Science (ANS) focused on the theme "Theory and Practice." My editorial for that issue was titled "Knowing and Doing" and addressed the disparities inherent in a society that nurtures deep-seated ways of thinking and acting that are diametrically opposed to one another. I noted then, and am still convinced, that the perennial "theory-practice gap" in nursing is not our own problem alone, nor is it entirely of our own making. The articles that appeared in that classic issue of ANS laid important foundations for moving beyond the splits that persist between the worlds of theory and practice, and they remain as pertinent today as they were in 1988. They included:


* Scientific inquiry in nursing: A model for a new age, by Holly A. DeGroot


* Challenging the focus on technology: A Critique of the medical model in a changing health care system, by Janet D. Allan and Beverly A. Hall


* A case of conflicting paradigms: Nursing and repreductive technology, by Margarete Sandelowski


* An ethical framework for nursing service administration, by Paula J. Christensen


* Nursing theory and administrative practice: Agenda for the 1990s, by Bonnie Mowinski Jennings and Afaf Ibrahim Meles


* Irritable infant syndrome: Theoretical perspectives and practice implications, by Maureen R. Keefe


* Adolescent hopefulness in illness and health, by Pamela S. Hinds



There is an interesting connection and evolution between the contents of this past issue, and the issue now in your hands. The articles in Volume 10:3 reflected an emerging critical consciousness of long-standing assumptions and world views, as well as consciousness of possibilities that for many may have been quite unfamiliar. The articles in this present issue reflect a current and sharp critical awareness of underlying dynamics that shape how we think and what we do, clear allegiances to fundamental nursing values and perspectives, and well well-articulated connections between socially and culturally mediated dynamics that limit the ways we view the world. The possiblities for change that the articles present in this issue of ANS may seem unfamiliar, but open pathways toward bringing together what we know and value at the deepest levels, and the ways we go about the development of nursing practice.


These articles open the door to praxis-critical reflection and action to transform the world. It is time to set aside the old perpetual moaning about the gaps between practice and theory, or between practice and research. As the authors of the articles in this issue demonstrate, there are alternatives and possibilities, ways to go about healing the splits. It begins with awareness, and then small and large shifts in thinking and doing.