In both education and practice, nurses have had considerable experience in adding things on, not unlike the television personality who, when asked about his health responded, “After fifty it is patch, patch, patch.” Nursing is in a period characterized by emphasis on new approaches, new ways of organizing what should be known and done. New models, new frameworks for both teaching and practicing nursing are sought. A framework, whether it is formed from concepts, types of experiences, work operations, and so forth, is something constructed, something made. Since it is a structure, a whole theory with parts and organization, the essential process is one of forming and developing it.
If development is seen as movement from “general indeterminacy toward specific perfection” (Lonergan, 1958, p. 461) conceptual framework development involves a narrowing down of the possibilities. But the possibilities first must be identified. For example, in relation to teaching nursing, general concepts of education and teaching are narrowed down by relating them specifically to nursing toward the development of a concept of teach-
This paper was originally presented at the Catholic University of America Conference, Nursing
Conceptual Framework, October 5, 1973.