Nursing Theory: Explanation and Relevance to Nursing Practices Katherine Lott Azusa Pacific University Theoretical Foundations for Nursing UNRS 306 Professor Cone May 20, 2009 Merriam Webster defines the word “theory” as “a belief, policy, or procedure proposed or followed as the basis of action. ” There are various categories of theories accepted and practiced throughout the world and throughout professional practices today. One example of a type of theory is a nursing theory. However, some might not be fully aware of what a nursing theory entails, examples of such, and the relevance of nursing theories.
This paper will explain these matters. What is a nursing theory? A nursing theory is an expression that has arose from a philosophical perspective that explains some phenomena. Overall, it is used to describe the accumulation of knowledge that is used to support nursing practice. It incorporates experiments and research to define nursing and nursing practice; furthermore, it gives reason to the accepted principles that form the basis for practice, and goals and functions of nursing (Wesley, 1995). In essence, a nursing theory enables understanding of what, how, and why nurses continue to practice. What is the origin of a nursing theory?
Her book titled From Novice to Expert explains Benner’s view that caring is a necessary component in the theory of skill acquisition. She describes nursing as an “enabling condition of connection and concern” (Marriner-Tomey, 1989, p. 192) which implies a high level of emotional involvement in the nurse-patient relationship (Benner, 1984). Benner speaks of the “power” of caring and describes the caring role as involving the concepts of transformative power, integrative caring, advocacy, healing power, participative/affirmative power, and problem solving (Benner, 1984).
She takes a stand in her belief that that nursing care is more than the application of mere skill; it is relational and involves the nurse’s response as a human being, first, and then secondarily, in the nursing role (Benner, 1984). Altogether, Benner was able to develop a nursing theory that involved the holistic care for the patient through an in-depth nurse-client relationship. Through this relationship the needs of the patient are able to be identified and prioritized to provide the best nursing care for that individual.
This paper was able to describe what a nursing theory entails and its origin, examples of such, and the relevance of nursing theories. Overall, a nursing theory explains the knowledge that is used to support the nursing practice and there have been nurses throughout history with their own personal views of what nursing meant to them and how they were going to focus their practice. However, no matter what each theory entailed, every theory was able to conceptualize in useful ways and ideas that help make sense of what they do as nurses. Reference Benner, Patricia. (1984).