Fall 2013

NURS 7325-001 Philosophy of Nursing Science

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Welcome to Philosophy of Science!  We are pleased to have you joion us.  We look forward to meeting you and working with you this semester. 


Avant, Kay C., PhD, RN, FNI, FAAN
Roger L and Laura D. Zeller Distinguished Professor
Email: avantk@uthscsa.edu
Office Phone:   210 567 5881
Office Fax: 210 567 5822
Cell Phone: 254 744 6103
Office Number: 2.134
Office Hours: Wednesday 10-12am: 4-5pm and by appointment
Department: Family and Community Health Systems

Cleveland, Lisa, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor
Email: clevelandl@uthscsa.edu
Office Phone: 210 567 3884
Office Fax: 210 567 5822
Office Number: 2.344


The focus of this course is to relate philosophy of science, philosophy of nursing science, and one's personal philosophy to the development of nursing knowledge.  The role of scientists in nursing and in society will be explored.  Emphasis is on the process of analysis, and the ability to present the pros and cons of philosophical  issues. 


Credit Hour Allocation: 3 Semester Credit Hours
Clock Hour Allocation: 3 Clock Hours Class (45 hours class)


Admission to the doctoral program


Upon completion of the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing Program students will:

  1. Advance the discipline of nursing through the generation of new knowledge and theory.
  2. Demonstrate excellence as a clinical researcher in the health sciences in a focal area of nursing.
  3. Synthesize theories from natural and/or behavioral sciences for application to a specified area of nursing.
  4. Advance evidence-based clinical practice.
  5. Assume nurse scientist roles within academic health centers and other interdisciplinary health sciences and educational institutions.
  6. Evaluate the value and knowledge components of philosophical and ethical dimensions of issues confronting healthcare and nursing.


  1. Analyze the development of science and nursing science within the last century.
  2. Analyze scientific approaches to development of nursing knowledge within the context of major philosophical traditions.
  3. Synthesize personal philosopies of science and nursing science, and relate them to the clinical scientist role. 
  4. Analyze philosophical logical arguments regarding a phenomenon of interest.
  5. Evaluate relevant theory, practice and research related to a clinical practice phenomenon for their philosophical underpinings and relevance to personal philosophy of nursing science.
  6. Analyze philosophical paradigms accepted in nursing and compare with those of other health disciplines.




A = 4 points (90-100)
B = 3 points (80-89)
C = 2 points (70-79)
D = 1 point (60-69)
F = 0 points (Below 60)


Assignment 1:  - 100 points
Oral Presentation - Develop and write a logical argument related to an issue in nursing about which you are passionate

1.        Using Toulmin's structure of a logical argument, formulate a logical argument related to an issue in nursing or in your clinical situation about which you are passionate

2.       Use examples from studies done in the area to support your arguments

3.       Write a rebuttal to the argument from the opposing position

Assignment 2: - 100 points
Paper 1.   Personal philosophy of nursing science paper

1.        Describe your personal philosophy of nursing science

2.       Identify your values, beliefs and assumptions related to nursing science

3.       Discuss the role of human beings, the role of the researcher and the product of research

4.       Discuss the congruence between your personal philosophy of nursing and your philosophy of nursing science

5.        Address congruence between your philosophy of nursing science and extant paradigmatic/philosophical views of nursing

6.       Describe how your philosophy of nursing science affects your practice, your education and your research

Assignment 3 – 100 points
Paper 2.  Scholarly Paper

1.        Define a concept of interest to your practice – it may be the one used in your argument presentation or another one

2.       Describe three philosophical perspectives in which the concept is relevant; provide supportive literature for each of the three perspectives related to the concept

3.       Which of the three perspectives best matches your own philosophy?  Why?  Would any changes in the perspective need to be made to make it a better “fit” with your philosophy?

4.       Proposed a design for a study to examine your concept from each of the three philosophical perspectives.

Assignment 4 – 100 points

Class Presentation -  each student will prepare one class presentation on a particular philosophy of science

1.        Provide a history  of  the philosophy including author(s), time of development, historical context

2.       Discuss the major principles or beliefs of the philosophy

3.       Discuss how the philosophy  is or can be used in nursing science development

 Grade Percentages:
25% - Personal philosophy of nursing science paper

15% - Oral Presentations - logical argument

20% - Oral Presentation - philosophy

40% - Scholarly Paper
100% - Total

Further details and information on grading criteria will be in your course packet available on the first class day.

Grading Scale:
A = 90-100%
B = 80-89%
C = 70-79%
D = 60-69%
F = Below 60%

The student should prepare for extensive class discussion. This is a seminar. To prepare, all assignments should be thoroughly read and a list of questions and/or comments for the class developed. Articles should be selected in your specialty that augment your readings and add to the class discussion. Each member of the class is responsible for learning. Below you will find a list of journals doctoral students should read as a part of their normal scholarly activity. Doctoral study requires extensive reading. Students should schedule several hours per day for reading.


Students are expected to be above reproach in all scholastic activities. Students who engage in scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and dismissal from the university. "Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, and submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts." Regents Rules and Regulations, Part One, Chapter VI, Section 3, Subsection 3.2, Subdivision 3.22.


Any student seeking reasonable accommodations through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should contact either the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Services within the first week of the semester or schedule a meeting with the UTHSCSA ADA Compliance Office so that appropriate accommodations may be arranged. A request for accommodations (Form ADA-100: http://uthscsa.edu/eeo/form100-Faculty-student-resident.pdf) must be completed and submitted to the Executive Director of the ADA Compliance Office before accommodations can be provided. Additional information can be provided in the Student Success Center, Room 1.118 or through the ADA Compliance Office website: http://uthscsa.edu/eeo/request.asp.







    I.        Science, Philosophy and Philosophy of Science

  II.        Progress in Science – history of science

 III.        Types of Science – Natural and Social Science, Improvement Science, Nursing Science

IV.        Knowledge Development in Science 

 V.        Logical arguments in the context of philosophy – composing logical arguments

VI.        Ways of Knowing in Nursing Science

VII.        Philosophical Traditions in Nursing Science

VIII.        Developing a philosophy of science

IX.        Relationships of philosophy,  theory,  research and practice

 X.        On Being a Nurse Scientist – comparison of nursing philosophies with other health disciplines

CALENDAR - 1st Day Only

Please check the schedule for recent updates on Class Dates & Room.

Introductions to each other and to the course objectives and assignments

Overview of expectations and experiences during doctoral study. 

For full calendar and details, we will have the course packet available for you in the first class. 

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