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disciplinary focus, healing, health, human science, knowledge development, meaning, nursing knowledge, nursing philosophy, nursing practice, ontology



  1. Willis, Danny G. DNS, APRN, BC
  2. Grace, Pamela J. PhD, APRN
  3. Roy, Callista PhD, RN, FAAN


Nursing has a rich history of knowledge development, yet there remains ambiguity about what is a proper central unifying focus for the discipline. At this time in our history, it is imperative that we clearly define and articulate who we are and what we offer. Confusion about a central unifying focus is a significant problem for practice given the current healthcare environment and global problems affecting health and healing. The authors propose a central unifying focus for the discipline: facilitating humanization, meaning, choice, quality of life, and healing in living and dying. This focus will serve as a basis for our professional identity, strengthen our endeavors, and provide the ontological and epistemological basis for our continuing evolution as a practice profession.