Discovery of self: exploring, interconnecting and integrating self (concept) and nursing

R Walter, K Davis, N Glass
Collegian: Journal of the Royal College of Nursing, Australia 1999, 6 (2): 12-5
Self concept of individual nurses is still largely unexplored in nursing. While the role of self-knowledge and self-actualisation are recognised as integral to nursing practice, little has been done to examine their relationships to self concept and nursing practice. The aim of this research study was to explore the role and significance that self concept plays in women nurses' experience of their beginning practice. The exploration examined factors which contribute to and impact on self concept within a nursing practice environment. Self concept relates to how an individual experiences oneself and is integrally linked to one's interactions and relationships with others. This two phase research was situated in critical and feminist theory using reflective journalling (phase one) and story telling/narrative (phase two) as the research methods. This paper discusses the three major themes which arose in phase one of the research. Those were: exploring experiences; interconnecting personal and professional worlds; and, integrating self 'into' nursing. The paper also explores inter-subjectivity in terms of the contribution this concept makes to our understanding of research findings.

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