The history of ideas may contribute to an awareness and an opening up of deep-seated currents of thought that have shaped the inner core of the caring culture and an ethical value base - the ethos of serving in nursing leadership. This article studies how serving as an ethos is represented, which becomes visible and evident in Sophie Mannerheim's, Bertha Wellin's and Bergljot Larsson's nursing leadership. This article also seeks to describe the main features of the idea-historical research approach the way in which it is represented within the caring science-tradition. An idea-historical methodological approach informed by Gadamer's philosophy was used for the hermeneutical interpretation within a caring science perspective. Primary and secondary historical sources were explored in the light of nursing praxis and serving. Three general idea patterns were discovered: the innermost room of the heart as the idea of serving, the action of the hand as acts of love and a cultivation of the head towards nursing leadership. These ideas open for a new vision that can bring out new patterns for action in the present and in the nursing leadership of the future.
- nursing leadership