Perceptions of Nursing in Appalachia: A State of the Science Paper

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INTRODUCTION: Nursing practice is continuously evolving in response to global health care need, sociopolitical culture, and advancing medical knowledge necessitating ongoing evaluation of professional practice. The purpose of this state of this science paper was to explore current perceptions of nursing and critique the depth of knowledge specific to nursing practice in the Appalachian region. METHODOLOGY: A review of the literature in multiple databases was conducted to explore perceptions of nursing in Appalachia. RESULTS: Categories of perception included the following: (a) perceptions of nurses and education leaders that practice in the Appalachian region, (b) perceptions of communities of Appalachia and Appalachian health care systems, and (c) perceptions of patients possessing inherent cultural characteristics of the Appalachian region. DISCUSSION: None of the literature specifically addressed perceptions of nursing. Much of the available literature was over 5 years old. A significant deficiency in understanding perceptions of nursing in Appalachia was identified.