Nursing Essay

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King’s Conceptual System and Theory of Goal Attainment: Past, Present, and Future
Maureen A. Frey, RN; PhD
Director of the Center of Excellence in Pediatric Nursing, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Detroit

Christina L. Sieloff, RN; PhD
Associate Professor of Nursing, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan

Diane M. Norris, RN; PhD
Assistant Professor of Nursing, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan
Imogene King is universally recognized as a pioneer of nursing theory development. Her interacting conceptual system for nursing and her theory of goal attainment have been included in every major nursing theory text, are taught to thousands of nursing students, form the basis of nursing education programs, and are implemented in a variety of service settings. ing’s (1964, 1971) earliest published discussions of nursing as a science highlighted nursing as a profession, rather than an occupation or craft, and were closely tied to the theory
Editor’s Note: Send manuscripts concerning research using nursing theories and models, new research methods, or research issues pertinent to nursing’s epistemology to Violet M. Malinski, RN, PhD, Associate Professor, Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, Hunter College, City University of New York, 425 E. 25th St., Box 945, New York, NY 10010-2590; work phone: (212) 481-4465; fax: (212) 481-4427; E-mail: vmalinsk@hunter.cuny.edu
Nursing Science Quarterly, Vol. 15 No. 2, April 2002, 107-112 © 2002 Sage Publications

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development movement of the time. A unique body of scientific knowledge characterizes professions. Structure, certainty, and generalizations characterize scientific knowledge. King urged theory development to provide structure for the systematic organization and development of new knowledge for nursing. As a scientific discipline, the core body of knowledge served as the foundation for teaching and learning nursing. Accordingly, nursing belonged in higher education and required a nucleus of well-prepared...

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