Concept Analysis Paper


Students in Nursing Theory will identify a specific concept for the concept analysis paper in a subject of potential research interest.  Students will examine concept definitions from multiple disciplines through a vigorous review of the literature as a framework for the concept analysis.  This concept analysis could then be used in the initial work on the development of a research proposal for the Nursing Thesis or Scholarly paper.


Student will select a concept for analysis and review choice with course faculty in a one-paragraph email within 1 week from class on concept development.

Paper Guidelines

  1. Introduction:  Student will introduce the concept paper demonstrating critical thinking skills about your belief concerning the importance of and purpose of this concept in nursing practice, nursing research, nursing leadership/administration and management, and nursing education as appropriate.  (5 points)
  2. Review of the Literature: Student will identify all of the uses of the concept and then compare the concept from the perspective of at least two disciplines (i.e. Psychology, Biology, Management) and then in nursing as obtained through a vigorous review of the literature. This becomes the review of the literature section.  (15 points)
  3. Defining Attributes: Student will then extract the defining attributes of the concept from the review of the literature that he or she has done.  Sometimes it helps if you go back over what you have written and highlight what you think are the attributes. (Don’t include the highlighting in your final paper. Your review of the literature should provide documentation for whatever you report as the defining attributes of your concept.

      (15 points)

  1. Definition of the Concept: Student will define the concept based on his or her synthesis of the literature and the defining attributes. If you decide on the definition of another author cite documentation of your source.  (5 points)
  2. Cases:
  1. Student will identify and describe with an example, a model case demonstrating the defining attributes of the concept.  (15 points)
    1. Student will identify and describe with examples of each: a borderline, related,   

      contrary and illegitimate case. (20 points) 

  1. Antecedents and Consequences:  Student will identify all the antecedents for the concept and some of its potential consequences. These may be in list form.  (5 points)
  2. Empirical Referents: Student will give examples of a few empirical referents. These are ways in which the concept can be measured.  (5 points)
  3. Summary and Conclusion:  This should pull together the major points of your paper and your conclusions.  (5 points)

9. This paper should be written in APA format (including the use of appropriate levels of headings), be approximately 10-12 pages in length (not including the reference list which should have at least 10 references). (10 points)


Student will read Concept Analysis (Chapter 5) in Strategies for Theory Construction in Nursing. Walker, L. O. & Avant, K. C. (2005) New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Additional resources using the Walker and Avant model modified from Wilson, 1963) are listed on pages 54-55 in the course required text McEwen & Wills.

The McEwen & Wills text also offers the concept analysis process of Rodgers, Swartz-Barcott & Kim, Meleis, Morse, Penrod & Hupcey.

The following journal articles demonstrate a concept analysis.

Ballou, K. (1998). A concept analysis of autonomy, Journal of Professional Nursing, 14(2),  102-110.

Lindgren, C. C., Burke, M. L., Hainsworth, M. A. , & Eakes, G. G. (1992). Chronic sorrow: A lifespan concept. Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice: An International Journal, 6 (1), 27-40.   

Rodwell, C. M. (1996). An analysis of the concept of empowerment. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 23, 305-315.



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