Sample Nursing Paper on Philosophy and Nursing Research

The ultimate intent of knowledge development is to improve nursing practice, whether it relates to clinical nursing care, teaching and learning, administration and management, or health care policy. To develop as a profession, nursing must acknowledge the foundations for knowledge development, which include the various philosophical orientations used in developing theoretical underpinnings for nursing practice.

For this first course Discussion, you will examine science and philosophical schools of thought that influence knowledge development in nursing, and consider how they align with your own philosophical view of nursing research and knowledge development.


  • Review the Week 1 Learning Resources. Pay particular attention to Chapter 1 of the McEwen and Wills text. Consider the views of science compared in Table 1-3 (p. 11) and how the received view, perceived view, and postmodernism differ when applied to science and research for nursing knowledge development. Focus further on the philosophies within each school of thought explained in Chapter 1 of McEwen and Wills (i.e., empiricism, positivism, postpositivism; interpretive views of phenomenology, constructivism; poststructuralism and postcolonialism).
  • Based on the readings and your experience in nursing and with nursing research, reflect on these philosophical worldviews of knowledge development. Consider those that align most with your thinking and how they will influence your research in nursing and intended contributions to knowledge development.

With these thoughts in mind …


Post a brief explanation of the key differences among the received view, the perceived view, and postmodernism applied to science and research for nursing knowledge development. Explain which philosophical views of nursing research align most with your views of nursing science and research, and explain why. Then, explain which philosophical view will most likely guide your dissertation research and why, and how this view may influence your contributions to nursing knowledge. Be specific and provide examples.


Optional readings

Note: Access the following Walden resources to support locating resources in the Walden Library and completing course Discussions and Assignments.

Note: Walden University Writing Center resources before May 2020 use examples in APA 6. Check APA 7 guides to ensure accuracy.