What is a concept analysis? Definition, Methods & Guidelines

What is a concept analysis? Writing a concept analysis is hard.

How to write a concept analysis? This article will define concept analysis as well as describe its importance for student nurses. Concept analysis organizes nursing knowledge so that the nurse can apply it in practice. Some guides that can help you understand, write your next concept analysis quickly and easily! 

Definition of Concept Analysis 

Concept analysis is a method for organizing and integrating key concepts in a discipline.  It is used to guide the learning and teaching processes through articulation, organization, integration, interpretation, application, and evaluation of nursing knowledge.

This is one effective way that faculty can assist nurse students during the learning process.

What is a concept analysis?
What is a concept analysis?

The purpose of Concept Analysis

Concept analysis is one way that nurses use to organize knowledge. It ensures that the nurse can apply knowledge in practice, because it makes explicit, or clarifies, nursing thinking.

Concept analysis is a way to identify and define concepts. It also helps nurses find gaps in their knowledge by pinpointing where the information and thinking are incomplete or incorrect. Concept analysis is important for creating and presenting nursing content and curricula.

Finally, concept analysis provides a framework for developing nursing content and curricula (adapted from the original source).

The purpose of Concept Analysis
The purpose of Concept Analysis

Concept Analysis Procedures

Conceptualizing is used to develop categories of related concepts. These categories are then refined into groups that share common attributes, which are termed dimensions of similarity. 

This process develops a framework for organizing information in a way that facilitates application and facilitates thinking about how information fits together. 

Furthermore, concept analysis can also be completed by identifying differences between concepts. This process is often used when the topic being analyzed is new or controversial.

The methods of Concept Analysis 

The methods of Concept Analysis
The methods of Concept Analysis

Concept analysis is a method for determining the semantic structure of concepts. Although there are a variety of ways to undertake concept analysis, the most frequently used method in nursing is created by Walker & Avant. By doing 8 steps as following: 

  1. Choose an idea
  2. Determine the analysis’s goals or objectives.
  3. Make a list of every possible application of the notion you can think of. 
  4. Determine the distinguishing characteristics
  5. Create a model case. 
  6. Create cases that are borderline, linked, contradictory, fabricated, or illegitimate. 
  7. Define empirical referents, and 
  8. Identify antecedents and outcomes.

Taking each step carefully and in detail will give you a perfect conceptual analysis


What is concept analysis used for?

Concept analysis is a method of defining and describing concepts used in nursing research, which can be compared to the process of providing a “map” or roadmap for understanding the concept under study. Concept analysis is important in helping expand the knowledge base in nursing by providing the structure for understanding new concepts and comparing existing concepts

The Importance of Concept Analysis 

Concept analysis is an important part of nurses’ work because it helps the nurse plan, implement, and evaluate care by making explicit the implicit thinking underlying clinical practice.  

It also promotes critical thinking about nursing knowledge, which is essential for students transitioning from learning to practicing.

Conceptualization of nursing knowledge requires that nurses move beyond basic understanding toward integration of content into their thinking.

How do you get a concept analysis?

Here are the steps to obtain a concept analysis

  1. Determine a concept.
  2. Choose a database and create a search strategy
  3. Choose the advanced search option
  4. In the various search boxes, type terms.
  5. In one of the search boxes, type “concept analysis.”

If you’re interested in concept analysis, then this blog post is for you. We’ll be discussing what a concept analysis is and how to use it when critiquing texts. Keep reading!


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