Aim. The aim of this study was to describe, explore and explain the concept of sustainability in nursing.
Background. Although researchers in nursing and medicine have emphasised the issue of sustainability and health, the concept of sustainability in nursing is undefined and poorly researched. A need exists for theoretical and empirical studies of sustainability in nursing.
Design. Concept analysis as developed by Walker and Avant.
Method. Data were derived from dictionaries, international healthcare organisations and literature searches in the CINAHL and MEDLINE databases. Inclusive years for the search ranged from 1990 to 2012. A total of fourteen articles were found that referred to sustainability in nursing.
Results. Sustainability in nursing involves six defining attributes: ecology, environment, future, globalism, holism and maintenance. Antecedents of sustainability require climate change, environmental impact and awareness, confidence in the future, responsibility and a willingness to change. Consequences of sustainability in nursing include education in the areas of ecology, environment and sustainable development as well as sustainability as a part of nursing academic programs and in the description of the academic subject of nursing. Sustainability should also be part of national and international healthcare organisations. The concept was clarified herein by giving it a definition.
Conclusion. Sustainability in nursing was explored and found to contribute to sustainable development, with the ultimate goal of maintaining an environment that does not harm current and future generations' opportunities for good health. This concept analysis provides recommendations for the healthcare sector to incorporate sustainability and provides recommendations for future research.
2014. Vol. 28, no 2, 381-389 p.
sustainable development, nursing, sustainability, nursing theory, concept analysis