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The uses of theories and models in nursing have been emphasised in curriculum development for Project 2000 courses over the past five years. In debates about the inclusion of the theoretical ideas in nursing as part of the foundation programme for students undertaking the P2000 course, two questions have exercised the minds of curriculum development teams: 1. Is it important whether or not students are introduced early during their Common Foundation course to theories and models of nursing? 2. How would such knowledge at the early stage of their education and training be related to the practice given the eighteen months’ gap between the Common Foundation Programme and the choice of a Branch in which students will subsequently practise?

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After a discussion of models of nursing, the author focuses on what nurses are and argues that their perceptions are significantly different from those of medical practitioners. The commitment of nurses is discussed, debated and explored and some values shared between newly qualified nurses and the lay public. Commitment is put into the prespective of 'accountability' and its effects on assessing quality of care and nurse-patient relationships are discussed. The author also argues that in certain circumstances she would contemplate defecting from 'being a nurse', particularly with regards to her personal concern for the mentally disordered. But the message that pervades the paper is that once one is a nurse, one is a nurse forever. Finally researchers are admonished to strive for 'an elucidation of the nature of commitment'.
The relevant literature is reviewed and it is held that the relationships between nursing theory, practice, education and research are close and reciprocal relationships. Each is related to the other but it is argued that the hub of the relationships is nursing practice as nursing is a practice discipline. This paper is based on an address delivered on 10 July 1976 at the annual conference of the Association of Integrated and Degree Courses in Nursing held at the University of Hull, England.
This paper explores the relationship between the life sciences of anatomy, physiology, microbiology and pharmacology and the teaching/learning problems of their application in nursing. A theoretical model is proposed derived from a conceptual consideration of nursing tasks and of nursing actions developed to account for a direct link between these sciences and nursing. It is argued that a 'bio-nursing' approach to the use of the life sciences in nursing is comparable to that of a 'bio-medical' approach in medical education and practice. The paper suggests that an appropriate examination of the contributions of the life sciences to nursing education will provide a more concentrated and illuminating exercise with regard to making possible the identification of a body of knowledge of direct relevance to nursing practice. The teaching/learning implications for nurse education and the development of a distinctive knowledge base derived from these sciences are discussed.