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compassionate action, culture, diversity, family nursing, pragmatism, theory



  1. Doane, Gweneth Hartrick PhD, RN
  2. Varcoe, Colleen PhD, RN


Believing that the purpose of knowledge development and practice is compassionate action, in this article, we discuss how pragmatism can help us move toward that goal. Specifically, we show how pragmatic inquiry draws attention to the inseparability of practice/theory and the integral role practice experiences play in the ongoing development of theory. We demonstrate the utility of pragmatism to nursing by describing how we have explicitly approached theory development as a practical (and practice) activity of inquiry to attend to experiences of culture and diversity in family nursing.