Indexed on: 31 Oct '07Published on: 31 Oct '07Published in: Qualitative health research
Despite mandates to provide spiritual care, confusion persists among nurses about spirituality, spiritual needs, and related roles. To discover how practicing nurses acquire knowledge for spiritual care, the authors chose a grounded theory design. They constantly compared and analyzed verbatim transcribed interview data to find the core variable, categories, and properties. Connection, manifesting as a state, act, or process, appeared throughout the data. Categories emerged as Needing Connection, Nurturing Connection, Learning Connection, and Living Connection. Nurses used a cyclical, intertwined, and progressive learning process of opening to, struggling with, and making connections between numerous discrete personal and professional experiences. Shifting attention between these interconnected experiences fueled knowledge acquisition. Whether referring to how nurses learn, what they do, or with whom, the theory Connecting Spiritually joined categories into a cumulative experiential learning process that explained how nurses learn to care for spiritual needs.