The works of nursing theorists, a Discussion

Undertanding the works of nursing theorists
• Theory is defined as “an internally consistent set of relational statements (concepts, definitions, and propositions) that present a systematic view of a phenomenon and are useful for description, explanation, prediction, and control.”

• Theories serve as a framework for selecting and organizing data:
• What to ask • What to look for • What to concentrate on • What to consider

Nursing theory is an organized and systematic articulation of a set of statements concerning issues in the nursing discipline.
Nursing theory applications
• Define relationships among variables in a specific field of study • Direct research, practice, and communication
• Allow for the prediction of care outcomes • Allow for the prediction of a variety of patient responses
Theory levels
Theoretical levels include: metatheory, grand theory, middle range theory, and practice theory.
Theories of various kinds
There are four types of nursing theories:
• Needs
• Interactions• Outcomes• Humanistic
• Theory improves understanding and explanation of events
• Influence our actions.
• Causes you to think differently about a problem or situation; • Encourages you to try new approaches or change your behavior.
• We can gain a different perspective on events.
• Provides a foundation for challenging its speculative tenets or propositions; • Poses a challenge to subsequent discovery of new ideas or knowledge that may explain and predict events not yet understood
• Assist nurses in describing, explaining, and forecasting everyday experiences.
• Guide nursing care assessment, intervention, and evaluation.
• Provide a rationale for gathering reliable and valid data on clients’ health status.
• Contribute to the development of criteria for measuring the quality of nursing care • Contribute to the development of common nursing terminology
• Increase nursing autonomy by defining its own independent functions.
• Provide a general focus for curriculum design in education.
• Assist in curricular decision-making
• Provide a framework for generating knowledge and new ideas in research
• Assist in the identification of knowledge gaps in a specific field of study.
• Provide a systematic approach to identifying research questions, selecting variables, interpreting findings, and validating nursing interventions.
Theory advancement
• Nursing theory development occurs in the context of practice.
• Two activities make a significant contribution to the overall process of developing nursing theory.
• Concept analysis and theory practical validation
Analysis of concepts

• Recognize and validate abstract concepts
• “What actual events can be linked to abstract concept x?”
• Practical application of theory
• Nursing process operation of assessment data analysis
• Used as scientific justification for decisions in nursing care plans.
• Concepts can be 1. readily observable, or concrete – thermometer, rash, and lesion; 2. inferential, or indirectly observable – pain and temperature; or 3. non-observable, or abstract – equilibrium, adaptation, stress, and powerlessness.
• Nursing theories address and specify relationships between four major abstract concepts known as the nursing metaparadigm.

Nursing is based on four fundamental concepts:
• Individual or client receiving nursing care (includes individuals, families, groups, and communities).
• Environment, the client’s internal and external surroundings. People in the physical environment, such as families, friends, and significant others, are included.
• Health refers to the client’s level of wellness or well-being.
• Nursing, the attributes, characteristics, and actions of the nurse providing care on behalf of, or in conjunction with, the client.

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