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In a study using unstructured interviews to explore nurses' understanding and interpretations of caring in nursing, one of the major themes emerging from the data is that through caring for patients, nurses discover the meaning and nature of nursing and what it means for them to be nurses. In the process of caring for patients, nurses further develop and understand the knowledge and skill of caring which constitutes the knowledge base of nursing. The data also show that nurses, in their practice, continue to define, develop and shape the meaning and knowledge of caring in nursing. From the evidence of this study, this paper argues that caring can be considered as the ontological and epistemological foundations of nursing.