A metaparadigm is an overarching framework that provides a comprehensive perspective of a discipline. In nursing, this framework serves to distinguish the profession intellectually, comprising of four concepts which provide a foundation to the content and context of nursing theory and scope of practice (Lee & Fawcett, 2013; Masters, 2014; Schim, Benkert, Bell, Walker, & Danford, 2007). Namely, these foundational concepts are: person, environment, health, and nursing. Hence, the intent of this essay is to describe the four main concepts that make up nursing’s metaparadigm and discuss how they are used in practice, education and research.
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, 2007; Thorne et al., 1998). The notion of environment is multilayered and constructed, therefore, constantly changing, distinctly serving to shape a person’s health (Thorne et al., 1998). The concept of environment is foundational to the, “Social Determinants of Health: The Canadian Facts,” and in practice, helps the nurse describe, explain, and predict health outcomes and their context (Kozier et al., 2014; Mikkonen &Raphael, 2010).
The notion of health is contextual and an interactive, dynamic process between person and environment (Schim et al, 2007). Both wellness and illness are conceptualized by the ‘person’, existing on a continuum across the lifespan (Arnold & Boggs, 2001). Like the concept of person, health consists of physiological, psychological, sociological, cultural and spiritual elements and involves individuals, families, communities and populations (Arnold & Boggs, 2011; Thorne et al., 1998). Health is central to research and theory development and helps nurses interpret findings, validate interventions and identify questions for further study (Kozier et al., 2014; Thorne et al., 1998). In practice, the concept of health establishes a criteria to measure and improve the quality of nursing care (Kozier et al., 2014). Through disease prevention and health promotion, optimal health and quality of life are desired outcomes and ultimately, the goal of nursing (Arnold &...