We are the stories we tell: narrative knowing in nursing practice

J Holist Nurs. 1994 Mar;12(1):23-33. doi: 10.1177/089801019401200105.


In recent years, nurses have come to (re)value narrative knowing: the knowledge transmitted in the stories that human beings have told each other since the beginning. Narratives area generally understood to be stories with a certain dynamic structure and shape directed toward achieving wholeness, or health. In this article, the author considers why caregivers have become interested in narratives, the nature and function of stories for patients, the location of stories in the diagnostic and healing functions of the nurse, and the significance of stories for holistic nursing practice.

MeSH terms

  • Autobiographies as Topic*
  • Caregivers / psychology
  • Holistic Health*
  • Humans
  • Nurse-Patient Relations*
  • Nurses / psychology
  • Nursing Diagnosis