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embodiment, epistemology, hermeneutics, inquiry, knowledge translation, ontology



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


The interconnection of theory, evidence, and practice is most often conceptualized as an epistemological enterprise. In this article, we shift the discussion from one that is solely concerned with epistemology to one that considers the significance of ontology and the way in which epistemology and ontology are intricately intertwined in every nursing action. Drawing on deconstructive hermeneutics, we contend that to understand and affect the interconnection of theory, evidence, and practice, an ontological inquiry at the action level is required. Using a nursing practice example, we illustrate the complexities of knowledge translation and how effective integration of knowledge into practice involves an embodied process of ontological inquiry and action. This inquiry process draws on theory and evidence to enlarge and imagine possibilities for action in particular moments, situations, and contexts and rests in a way-of-being in which the interconnection of theory, evidence, and practice is embodied.