Research Papers on Nursing Theories
As a profession, nursing in increasingly governed by a number of different theories regarding the practice. In general, nursing theories fall into one of three categories.
- Grand nursing theories are conceptual frameworks for the entire practice, but are not useful for empirical testing.
- Mid-range nursing theories offer a bridge between grand theory and practice.
- Nursing practice theories are developed for use within specific nursing scenarios.
The application of nursing theory to actual practice can be some what problematic. In the professional world of nursing, there is no gap between how nursing is “contemplated, researched, practiced taught, organized, regulated and administered”. Despite these overlaps, however, the teaching of nursing practice is markedly different form its actual practice. Traditionally presented in two distinct formats:
- A classroom setting – engages educators to facilitate knowledge learning
- A practice based setting – enables mentors to facilitate hands-on learning, application of nursing theory can be difficult in a setting that demands the utilization of so many skills.
For nursing students, making the connection between theses two distinct formats can prove difficult. Nursing theory provides a foundation for nurses to understand their environment. However, nursing theory does little, if anything, to prepare nurses for the actual practice of nursing. For instance, although practice theories utilize four clearly defined steps for planning intervention, little if any flexibility is built into the theory. Therefore when nurses are faced with real world problems that do not easily correlate to specific nursing problems, difficulties can arise in choosing an appropriate course of action.
One of the more famous nursing theorists was Virginia Henderson, who defined nursing as: “The unique function…to assist the individual, sick or well, in the performance of those activities contributing to health or its recovery.” Henderson is known as the “first lady of nursing” and is perhaps the most influential and famous nurse of the 20th century. Henderson’s model is perhaps the most widely used nursing theory used throughout the world for standardizing the practice of nursing.
Casey’s Model of Nursing
Why Write Research Papers on Nursing Theory?
Theories attempt to explain the world around us. While theories are applicable to almost every aspect of daily life, their use in the nursing profession carries with it a number of inherent benefits.
- Theories enable nurses to correlate information in different ways ensuring the best possible care for individual patients.
- Theories assist nurses in developing a wider body of knowledge. In practice, nurses are able to see how hands-on experience directly correlates to theoretical learning.
- Nurse can utilize theory to improve their practice and thus improve patient care.
- Theories provide nurses with guidance and education.
If nursing practice were devoid of a theoretical basis nurses would, in essence, be left mired in chaos. Theoretical frameworks provide nurses with the knowledge to “put everything together.” Theories demonstrate relationships between various aspects of patient care and enable nurses make decisions based on both clinical and patient needs. Effectively theories provide the foundation for nursing practice.
Research Papers on Nursing Theories
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