The writings selected for publication by the editors represent three areas of professional responsibility that have been of interest and concern to me during my years in nursing. The papers reveal some results of my search for understanding of the nursing sciences, nursing education, and nursing practice, including formalized and expressed insights about their nature, structure, content, and relations. The papers are historical in the sense that they reflect time-specific conditions, events, and issues in nursing about which nurses had questions and sought answers. My work confirmed for me that the three above-named areas of responsibility of the nursing profession, while distinct from one another but also related, must be investigated and developed separately. Investigation in one area, often proceeding in the same time frame with investigation in another area, led to verified insights about the nature of each and the relationships between them. For example, the identification and formalization of the proper object of nursing in society and the subsequent modeling of the self-care deficit theory of nursing (nursing science area) led to conceptualizations and the formalizations of the end product of nursing practice, namely systems of nursing care, to the expression of the human results to be sought through nursing, and to the form, structure, and content areas of nursing practice (nursing practice area).
In 1973, while preparing a paper on the processes of developing conceptual frameworks for nursing practice and nursing education, I experienced a need for an answer to the question: Where does nursing fit in the world of humankind and human affairs? Figure P.I is an illustration of the outcome of my deliberations. Accepting that nursing, like all areas of human endeavor, has its origins and existence in the tendencies, interests, and capabilities of individual men and women working alone or in groups, I located nursing within a broad frame of human affairs that I named