Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Science


caregivers, nursing, Phenomenology, women


The focus of this phenomenological inquiry was the question: What is the meaning (essential structure) of the experience of being cared for as lived by female nurses? The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the experience of being cared for. Phenomenologic methodology was used for this study. Data analysis was patterned after the guidelines set out by Colaizzi, and Miles and Huberman. Fifteen female nurses described their experiences of being cared for during two interviews with the researcher. Through analysis of the first audio-taped interview metathemes describing the phenomena and a unity of meaning emerged. During the second interview the participants clarified and verified the findings in this study. Five metathemes emerged. (1) Feelings associated with the nurse being cared for are tacit, and understood holistically as being multidimensional and interrelated. (2) The behaviors associated with the nurse being cared for are understood holistically as having instrumental and non-instrumental components and are equated with giving that is multidimensional. (3) The nurse allowing caring to occur uses a dialectic process to validate her feelings concerning her own independence, vulnerability, and the validity of trusting others. (4) Expectations of the nurse being cared for include care giver sensitivity to the tacit perceptions of the care recipient's notion of being cared for. (5) The consequences of being cared for include personal growth and extension of self to others. The metathemes were merged to provide an exhaustive description of the phenomena, and the unity of meaning, flowing from the exhaustive description, was identified. In the present study, unity of meaning, the essence of being cared for as experienced by nurses, means "persons sharing life with another." The findings in this study serve as a beginning description of the meaning of the experience of being cared for as lived by female nurses.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access



Included in

Nursing Commons