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What healing means to nursing students: A phenomenological study

Susan L Ward, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this investigation was to describe the meaning of healing from the perspective of nursing students. The premise of the study was that within the nursing profession healing was an amplification of caring. In keeping with the orientation of the study a phenomenological design was employed. Twelve nursing students from a small private Midwest nursing college shared their views. The nursing program at the college was based on Watson's Philosophy and Science of Caring. Data were gathered using tape-recorded interviews and journal writings. The data were transcribed and then analyzed according to a modification of Moustakas (1994), using the Stevick-Collaizzi-Keen method. Results showed that healing was more than an expansion in the caring philosophy. Caring was only one of five components that together define healing. Thus, healing was caring plus holism, relationships, process and peace. Findings from this inquiry indicate that through caring, nursing students can provide intentional nursing care using a holistic approach that meets patients' mental, physical and spiritual needs. Relationships are essential because they provide support and comfort that patients need to heal. The process of healing transpires over time and peace is attained. The phenomenon of healing may be viewed as a combination of concepts that can be treated separately or blended together giving a total picture of healing. These results have implications for the areas of nursing theory, education, practice and research. Researchers may be motivated to investigate healing using both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Education|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Ward, Susan L, "What healing means to nursing students: A phenomenological study" (2000). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9977032.