caring in nursing, evidence-based practice, instrumentation, Rasch methodology, theory



  1. Sumner, Jane F. PhD, RN, APRN-BC
  2. Fisher, William P. Jr PhD


This article presents an instrument and data testing a theory of the Moral Construct of Caring in Nursing as Communicative Action. Pilot testing involved 185 items administered to 82 nurses in 3 countries. The instrument includes 7 subscales addressing the nurse's personal and professional selves, the patient's personal and illness selves, the bidirectional interaction, the moral maturity of both, and the current state of nursing practice. Results suggest that the theory provides predictive control of the phenomena, drawing attention to the founding of evidence-based practice on practical, workable theory. Research continues, focusing on refining construct definitions and improving reliabilities.