Anne Boykin: Director of the Anne Boykin Institute for the Advancement of Caring in Nursing
What is the historical perspective the theory of nursing as caring?
How to identify foundational assumptions about nursing clarified the idea of the nursing situation?
Introducing the Theorists Anne Boykin Anne Boykin is Professor Emerita and past Dean of the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University. She is Director of the College’s Anne Boykin Institute for the Advancement of Caring in Nursing. This institute provides global leadership for nursing education, practice, and research grounded in caring; promotes the valuing of caring across disciplines; and supports the caring mission of the college. She has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to the advancement of knowledge in the discipline, especially regarding the phenomenon of caring. Positions she has held within the International Association for Human Caring include: president-elect (1990–1993), president (1993– 1996), and member of the nominating committee (1997–1999).
As immediate past president, she served as co-editor of the journal International Association for Human Caring from 1996 to 1999. Her scholarly work is centered in caring as the grounding for nursing. This is evidenced in her coauthored book, Nursing as Caring: A Model for Transforming Practice (Boykin & Schoenhofer, 1993, rev. ed. 2001a), and the book Living a Caring-based Program (Boykin, 1994). The latter book illustrates how caring grounds all aspects of a nursing education program. Dr. Boykin has also authored numerous book chapters and articles. She is currently retired and serves as a consultant locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally on the topic of caring-based health-care transformations.
Historical Perspective The theory of nursing as caring is an outgrowth of the curriculum development work in the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University, where both authors were among the faculty group revising the caringbased curriculum for initial program accreditation. When the revised curriculum was in place, each of us recognized the potential and even the necessity of continuing to develop and structure ideas and themes toward a comprehensive expression of the meaning and purpose of nursing as a discipline and a profession. The point of departure was the acceptance that caring is the end, rather than the means, of nursing, and that caring is the intention of nursing, rather than merely its instrument.
This work led to the statement of focus of nursing as “nurturing persons living caring and growing in caring.” Further work to identify foundational assumptions about nursing clarified the idea of the nursing situation, a shared lived experience in which the caring between nurse and nursed enhances personhood, with personhood understood as living grounded in caring. The clarified focus and the idea of the nursing situation are the key themes that draw forth the meaning of the assumptions underlying the theory and permit the practical understanding of nursing as both a discipline and a profession. As critique of the theory and study of nursing situations progressed, the notion of nursing being primarily concerned with health was seen as limiting, and we now understand nursing to be concerned with human living.