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context, difficulty, ethics, intentionality, nurse-patient relationships, reflexivity, relational inquiry, relational obligation



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


Nursing relationships and the enactment of nursing values and goals in contemporary healthcare contexts are becoming increasingly challenging. Using a relational inquiry lens, the authors examine the interface of relationships, ethics, and effective nursing practice and the way in which personal and contextual elements continuously influence and shape nursing relationships in many ways. The nursing obligations underpinning relational practice are examined, and the way in which relational inquiry can enhance nurses' ability to navigate through the highly complex, multifaceted, and contextually dependent moments of contemporary nursing practice is illustrated.