Patterns of Knowing in Nursing
There is a great abundance of information available to us in the universe. Every second, we are bombarded with thousands if not millions of tiny facts arriving through the unbidden working of our sensory organs, each of which is quietly and usually subconsciously processed by the brain; active study engages other parts of our grey matter, and quickly creates a store of facts and associations; and ultimately all information is judged against the framework that is continuously being constructed from previous information. In addition to these different processes for analyzing, categorizing, and associating information, there are also different types of knowledge, several if not all of them working on subconscious and unconscious levels, that help to inform the way in which the world is perceived and responded to. These are both different subject areas and different ways of viewing the world and receiving information, all of which come into play in major decisions.
In the study and practice of nursing, Chinn and Kramer (2008) have identified five specific types of knowledge or "patterns of knowing" that they contend help to clarify the knowledge that is necessary and beneficial to the practice of nursing. Having such a defined, conscious, and explicit framework is also essential to ongoing, effective nursing education, according to Chinn and Kramer (2008) as well as Carper, whom they cite as the originator of the basic framework. Carper's original framework...
These patterns accurately distinguish the types of knowledge necessary for nursing practice.
Chinn and Kramer (2008) first discuss emancipatory knowing, which is related to the development of nursing as an independent field in the wider area of medicine, and that in fact nursing crossed over the boundary of simple medicine into a humanistic practice with a considerably different attitude towards patient care than was (and arguably is) held by most physicians. The distinction of this pattern of knowing is important not only historically, but also in everyday practice where independent decisions must be regularly made, and the principles of nursing as distinct from the principles of medicine must guide care decisions. Emancipatory knowledge has even been cited in the literature as one of the key features in most educational frameworks that keeps a complete and almost slavish devotion to "pure" medical science at bay, which is increasingly important as the limits of medical practice become ever more sharply defined, even if…
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