Nursing exists in the area of tension between a practice and an academic discipline on the way to becoming a scientific discipline. In concordance with the theory development of the nursing profession, I have been encouraged to compile the themes I have researched for the past 25 years.

The purpose is to present a nursing theoretical frame of reference which could be used as a theoretical horizon of philosophy, values, concepts and ideals for clinical nurses.

In nursing, professional thinking is based on a relational view of humanity. Methodologically, the frame of reference is an interaction between philosophical, theoretical reflections in harmony with empirical projects with a predominant patient perspective.

The frame of reference can be divided into three themes: 1) The basic terms of collaboration, where the purpose is the right distribution of responsibility for the collaboration. The focus is on how power is actively formed to maintain trust. 2) The professional content of nursing, where the goal is the importance of life phenomena in concordance with needs. 3) Nursing competencies, where the goal is to develop personal, sense-focused, situational attention and courage.

Keywords: collaboration, power, life phenomena, needs, clinical situated attention, courage