The four phenomena of central interest that define nursing practice

Note: ANA: American Nurses Association

The ANA defines nursing as follows “The ANA states nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations” (ANA 2016). This definition addresses the metaparadigm theories of nursing in that it overall encompasses every aspect of an individual’s life. The four phenomena of central interest that define nursing practice (or the key foci of patient care) are identified as nursing, person, health, and environment (Thompson 2017). We investigate them as a person with looking at their cultural and biological variations as well as any health and illness behaviors. Their environment whether it be home or social is also examined to obtain any data that may assist in diagnosing or in advocating the necessary home care. As part of patient care it is our responsibility to determine what the patient’s definition of health is to better educate them on their current health status. One can’t assume that a patient is knowledgeable of their own conditions. Lack of education may hinder their ability to understand information provided to them. Really, it all comes down to the nursing factor. What the patient’s interaction is with the healthcare team, and was the team able to interact with the patient in a way where their needs were met.


The American Nurses Association (ANA), Inc. (2016) Frequently asked questions: Definition of nursing. Retrieved from…

Thompson, C. J. (2017, October 3). What is the nursing metaparadigm? [Blogpost]. Retrieved from

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