Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Science


environmental, Interpersonal communication, nursing


Nurses frequently care for individuals whose conditions are related to destructive environmental influences. Although the environment is a central construct in the nursing paradigm, its definition is client oriented, circumscribed, and does not adequately explain situations emanating from the larger physical, social, cultural, political, or economic spheres of the environment. This research described an expanded, ideal, environmental nursing domain derived from selected upstream scholars whose work has addressed broad environmental dimensions. Using the concept of future search, once this idealized environmental domain is envisioned, the nursing profession can begin to discover the knowledge base that is needed in order to created an expanded environmental world view. Combined qualitative data collection methods of individual field interviews using feminist approaches, and a focus group consisting of scholars who have addressed broad environmental dimensions related to nursing were used in this study. Data analysis was performed by using the constant comparative method which consisted of concurrent data collection and analysis. The participants described an ideal environment as the entire planet which is alive, whole, interconnected and interacting. Within this planetary environment are numerous dynamic patterns, dimensions, and levels that are interconnected and have open or indefinite boundaries. Because of the interconnections and interactions, any part of the planet that is unhealthy affects the entire planet adversely. Recommended nursing actions included the use of nursing and ecofeminist paradigms to liberate the nursing profession and the environment from oppressive conditions. Steps to achieving liberation consisted of including the environment as the nursing client and redirecting nursing actions from downstream to upstream environmental activities. The findings of this study have the potential for freeing nurses to expand their actions beyond the present limited environmental arena of the individual person. Using this enlarged conceptualization of the environment, nursing researchers, educators, and practitioners can address health issues within broad environmental dimensions in order to facilitate human well-being.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access



Included in

Nursing Commons