Nursing science belongs to the health sciences field in Finland and has been developed according to scientific criteria and evaluation processes, taking into account reforms in education and health care policies. This means that priorities in European and global health policies are considered as part of the research programmes carried out by departments of nursing science. The aim of this paper, which is based on publications and reports in this field, is to provide an overview of the history and challenges of nursing research in Finland. Recognising the changing focus of research is part of the general development of science. One critical question is how it will be possible to create an integrative research profile based on the diverse programmes and scientific goals. For each scientific field, there is a paradigm that determines the objectives, concepts and research, including theoretical and methodological assumptions.
Keywords: Academic discipline; history of nursing science; paradigm; research strategy; scientific knowledge; research programmes