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Family Nursing Network
  • The Family Nursing Research Team at Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSM) formed in the 1990s to investigate family health and illness experiences and advance nursing practice focused on families. This team conducted multiple investigations of families living with chronic and acute illness. Study findings described family experiences and processes that families use maintain and regain health.



    This early research team also wanted to explore how to best teach family nursing in order to improve family health and nursing practice with families. One of the core educational components that have developed is the framework of family nursing constructs. Through research and reviews of literature faculty identified and clarified constructs that could provide a guide for teaching family focused nursing actions in our curriculum. The Family Nursing Constructs Framework was created as a coherent and comprehensive approach to course development, thus creating a common language for faculty and students. The word construct was intentionally selected to describe fitting parts together (Abate, 2002). Our goal has been to illuminate the family care scientific foci necessary to advance practice.

    This framework is not inclusive or exhaustive, but always evolving. Knowledge from nursing and related disciplines supported the foundation for and ongoing development of this framework of family constructs.  This approach to education and pedagogies allows faculty to utilize a variety of nursing theories, family nursing models, and family theories. The Family Constructs Framework enables faculty to identify the science of family nursing and practice elements that most clearly align with their course, clinical setting, and direction.

    Family Nursing Constructs Framework

    • Creates a coherent approach and common language
    • Provides a broad and encompassing approach (Burns & Grove, 2009)
    • Addresses family nursing science and family nursing practice actions
    • Aligns with multiple theoretical frameworks
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