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Nursing Professional Practice Model, Domain I - Knowledge Structure

Domain 1 is the Knowledge Environment. As nurses, we are knowledge workers and use mission, vision, values, theory, and clinical inquiry to inform and drive our practice. Applying a systematic knowledge structure facilitates a professional level of practice characterized by evidence-based decisions. This domain outlines where we want to go as an organization and what beliefs, concepts, and theories help to support patient care and optimal outcomes.

The Orange color represents enthusiasm, energy, determination, strength, endurance, and success. 

The three components within the Knowledge Structure domain facilitate systematic knowledge through 1) Mission, Vision, and Values; 2) the Theoretical Framework; and 3) Clinical Inquiry.

Harris Health System Nursing’s mission, vision, and values form the foundation for Nursing's strategic plan. These guiding statements are used as the touchstone for strategy development, implementation plans and evaluation criteria.

Mission: Harris Health Nursing optimizes and provides healing services to our patients and community through safe, quality care delivery, coordination of care, and education.

Vision: Harris Health Nursing will be recognized globally for excellence in professional practice, patient-centered care, innovation and scholarship.


  • Safety
  • Holistic, Compassionate Care
  • Dignity and Respect
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Integrity and Accountability
  • Advocacy
  • Innovation
  • Partnerships
  • Scholarship

Theoretical Framework

The primary theorist guiding our practice is Florence Nightingale who teaches that Nurses place patients in the best position to heal.  Below is a list of other theorists in our model:

  • AACN Synergy Model - outlines practice competency expectations.
  • Benner - describes building clinical skills and expertise. 
  • Leininger - focuses on transcultural diversity.
  • Newman, Rogers, and Watson - focus on caring and healing practices.

Additionally, Harris Health adapted, Dr. Phyllis Waters' Therapeutic Capacity as our practice framework. Waters' practice framework asserts that nurses must develop and effectively apply the three dimensions of "therapeutic capacity" to bring about the best patient outcomes by placing patients in the best position to heal. 

Clinical Inquiry
Nursing is one of the most knowledge-intense professions in health care. Advancement of nursing practice and achievement of optimal patient outcomes result from the generation of new knowledge and the application of evidence and best practice recommendations honed through research and its translation to practice. Harris Health nurses perform clinical inquiry through a variety of activities.