Although nurses call themselves care professionals and believe that the essence of nursing is care, we have noticed that it is not yet sufficiently clear what care means; what its characteristics are; its objectives and so on. Thus, many conceptions of care co-exist and have influenced current nursing practices, which vary according to their respective theoretic-philosophical perspectives and practice environments. Based on this, we can say that one of the most influential nursing theories within Brazilian nursing is Dorothea Orem's theory of self-care. However, more recently, another perspective has emerged within the context of Brazilian nursing; Michel Foucault's Care of the self. The main purpose of this paper is to critically examine the Foucault notion of Care of the self and Orem's concept of Self-care in order to establish, if possible, a dialogue between one and the other notion within the context of care practice in Nursing.
Self-care; Nursing; Nursing care