The importance of Theory in Nursing
Discussed in this paper will be nursing theory and review its importance to nursing as a profession. It will also focus on aspects of the nursing theorist Virginia Henderson and her theory on the complementary-supplementary model of nursing. Nursing leadership, as it relates to Henderson’s theory, will also be discussed. Nursing theory itself is defined as an organized framework of concepts and purposes designed to guide the practice of nursing (Dossey, 2008). There will be multiple sections in this paper discussing an analysis of the importance of nursing theory, summery of key concepts related to the theory, and review of how the theory affects nursing leadership. Section one
The prominence of nursing theory to the profession of nursing is of endless enormousness. McCurry, Revell, & Roy (2010) note that the nursing profession has a responsibility to add to the well-being of society by utilizing evidence-based practice. Nursing knowledge is made on theories that answer questions to the problem of science. When a theory is confirmed by research it is verbalized into nursing practice. The actions of; research, theory and evidence-based care shape nursing’s goals and values to improve the care and health of families, individuals, and society.
Therefore, this makes the theory of nursing a foundation of nursing as a caring profession. According to (Dossey 2008), now is a point and time in nursing when there is a demand for a new language. This language will take the best evidence known and the art of nursing, to have great impacts on the human caring theory to a new level. It is through these methods and opinions that the nursing profession will be more prepared to share the expertise, knowledge, and critical-thinking skills for corresponding assistance to others in creating proper health and healing. According to Wagner and Bear (2009), theoretical definitions give a better meaning to the concept being studied which directs the theory and research. This method permits theory to have a positive impact on nursing by encouraging active patient care and in turn increasing patient satisfaction.
According to Virginia Henderson’s theory of complementary-supplementary, she establishes her definition of nursing as: The unique function of the nurse is to assist the individual, sick or well, in the performance of those activities contributing to health or its recovery (or to a peaceful death) that the person would perform unaided given the necessary strength, will or knowledge, and to do this in such a way as to help the individual gain independence as rapidly as possible (Henderson 1961). Virginia Henderson conceptualized the nurse’s role in the profession of nursing as supporting the sick or well human being in a supplementary or complementary manner.
Henderson is known as the “First lady of nursing,” as she started nurses thinking about “The Concept of Nursing.” Henderson’s theory has such a broad range of ideas that her theory can be used in many nursing processes. Henderson’s key concepts recount the modules of nursing care to 14 basic patient needs and definitions (Henderson, 1961).
1. Breathing normally -If oxygenation is insufficient organ function can be compromised or destroyed.
2. Eating and drinking adequately -to establish and maintain hydration and normovolemia for adequate organ function.
3. Eliminating body wastes – to maintain stability of kidney function and bowel elimination.
4. Moving and maintaining a desirable position -to prevent skin breakdown, pulmonary infiltrates, and pneumonia.
5. Sleeping and resting -To optimize system functions.
6. Selecting suitable clothes -To preserve dignity.
7. Maintaining body temperature within normal range by modifying the environment and adjusting clothing – In order to prevent damage to body systems.
8. Cleanliness and well groomed of the body to protect the integument-To protect the integument system and the patient’s dignity. 9. Avoiding injuring others and dangers in the environment -Physical assessments of patients and surroundings to avoid harm.
10. Communicating with others by expressing needs, emotions, opinions, or fears – Soothing communication and keeping patient and/or family well informed.
11. Worshipping according to one’s faith – Adhere to religious beliefs
12. Working in such a way that one feels a sense of accomplishment -To give optimal quality care no matter what the outcome is. 13. Participating or playing in various forms of recreation -Activities that suit the patient’s condition.
14. Discovering, learning, or satisfying the curiosity that leads to normal development and health, and using available resources -To give information, education, and support. Nicely and DeLario (2011), use Henderson’s theory to look at organ donation for transplantation. They define her theory as a nursing process of logical design which can be utilized by all health care providers. They continued to say that her concepts and theory of nursing, give a basis upon which great care can be built. Virginia Henderson’s theoretical propositions include the global conceptual framework, metaparadigm of nursing, which includes the broad concepts of person or client, environment, health, and nursing.
Her theories, concepts, and propositions are well accepted worldwide as a basis for nursing care (Nicely, & DeLario, 2011). The relationship is that it includes the summation of all external conditions that have an effect on the life and development of an individual. It also includes providing conditions that the patient can perform the 14 fundamental needs. It is the environmental setting in which the individual learns their pattern for living, and their relation to families. The community also has to be taken into account by discussing the impact it has on the individual and family (Henderson, 1961). Health is the quality of an individual’s life, basic to human functioning. Nurses are to convey the prevention and cure of diseases and promote good health. Having excellent health is a challenge; there are many aspects like cultural background, physical and intellectual abilities, age, and emotional balance can affect excellent health (Henderson, 1961).
As a nurse, this is a person who functions are to assist the sick and well individuals in a supplementary or complementary role. Their role consists of assessing the patients’ health needs, help them meet these needs, and provide an effective environment for the patient to be independent. The main goal of a nurse is to make the patient complete as a whole and to utilize nursing research to establish evidence-based care (Henderson, 1961). Section three
With Virginia Henderson being one of the great leaders of our time, she was a pioneer in the aspect of visionary leadership. She had a vision to ascertain the true meaning and nature of nursing. Her definition of nursing was her first attribute and is of grand design. It is written to allow nurses to develop their own concept of nursing. Another vision was to give optimal quality care to patients, families, and the community.
Through the nursing process, in which she noted is the submission of logical approaches to the resolution of a problem. This process has since been adopted by many leaders for other areas in the healthcare field. For example, nurse administrators use it to establish a specific focus for decisions and actions (Schmieding, 1990). Henderson, in 1985, wrote of the power of the electronic patient record. She elaborated on the subject of an international medical or health record that would supply the medical community with a clear picture of a patient (Clark, 1997).
Henderson’s theory and concepts were also one of the leading aspects of the problem-solving and decision-making leadership style. These skills, which make up this style, are essential to leadership no matter what style it is. Even though some of her views were debatable, she was a strong, leading advocate for advancing the nursing profession through research. In 1984, with the reestablishment of public health nursing, she focused her attention to the development of a research program to optimize quality of care for the patient, families, and the community (Abrams, 2007).
In 1953, she joined the faculty at Yale University and began a review of nursing research. In summation, Virginia Henderson views leadership as a multifaceted discipline in nursing. It encompasses vision, action, caring, and evidence-based data. Her life’s work has demonstrated many effective aspects of an effective leader and has empowered other nurses to continue her work. Conclusion
Nursing theory overall has a dramatic effect on the nursing profession. Early on nursing theorists, like Virginia Henderson, not only established the foundation of theory but also proposed concepts about nursing that outline it as a true profession. Nursing theory, along with research, concepts, and evidence-based practice are the things that compose the foundation of nursing as a profession and what will be in the future of nursing. In order to be excellent leaders, nurses must have a grip on the history of nursing, theory, and practice. Nursing is making great strides on the health and wholeness of individuals since the 1960’s. With the future approaching, the profession of nursing will have to head out on an even bigger adventure o to discover nursing research and an improvement in education to create nursing as a mature profession.