The focus of this conference is a specific general theory of nursing known as self-care deficit or self-care nursing theory. Theories attach meaning to nursing and express what theorists have objectified about their own thought processes and their developed insight about nursing. Some of you may be scholars of the self-care deficit theory of nursing as well as nursing practitioners or researchers who understand nursing according to the principles, models, and rules of this general theory of nursing. On the other hand, you may have in-depth knowledge of another theory of nursing and be interested in learning about the tenets held by nurses' awareness of the need to formalize and validate nursing knowledge, that is, to develop nursing as a discipline of knowledge central to the performances of nurse roles in social groups.
There is a growing industry centered around the work of nursing theorists. It includes the production of books about what theorists write, the holding of conferences, lecture series, and the making of audio and video tapes. The results of such undertakings from a professional perspective are measured in terms of cognitive and affective changes in nursing that will lead theorists to contribute to the advancement of nursing as a science, or, if you prefer, a discipline of knowledge.
This chapter consists of notes preparatory to a presentation at a self-care conference in the fall