NR 501 Week 1: Nursing Theory 

Sample Answer for NR 501 Week 1: Nursing Theory Included After Question

Preparing the Assignment 

For many students enrolled in NR501, this is an initial course for nursing theory. So, let’s have a debate. Is nursing theory important to the nursing profession? In particular, is it important for nurse practitioners? Does theory inform nurse practitioner practice? If you believe that it is important, explain why it is useful. If you do not believe that it is useful, explain why nursing theory is not necessary to the profession.  

A Sample Answer For the Assignment: NR 501 Week 1: Nursing Theory

Title: NR 501 Week 1: Nursing Theory

Nursing theories are research based, and widely established ideas that help to create a framework for nursing practice, as well as provide structure for the nursing scope. Nursing theory helps to delineate the meaning of nursing practice and profession, provides an understanding of the nursing role, and contributes to knowledge for practice (Iskandarani et al., 2012). Theory is a critical aspect in the nursing profession as it provides the groundwork for what we do and why we do it. It allows nurses to have an in-depth understanding of their scope of practice as well as their skills and competencies. Nurse practitioners are a crucial part of a health care team in this day and age. Unfortunately, due to the increase in competency based, and medically focused education, nursing theory is losing its place as a formative foundation in nurse practitioner curricula (Wood, 2020). Nursing requires a philosophical and theoretical basis and with that shrinking, we risk the loss of nursing foundations that were based in scientific and theoretical frameworks. It is true that theory and science based practice leads to better patient outcomes, and losing that could mean decreased level of care and ultimately, diminished health outcomes. Without theory in nursing, nursing simply becomes a robotic action of fulfilling orders for those with critical thinking skills and knowledge. If medicine is based in science and theory, why shouldn’t nursing? Nurse practitioner practice requires theory to be at the basis of all decision making. It can help nurses to define what is known, and what remains to be known. It can also help to make differential diagnoses, engage in research, and meaningfully treat a patient to reach maximal health outcomes. Nursing theory enables nurses to have an identity that is separate from physicians. It helps to promote confidence, competence, and respect, in the profession and is a crucial aspect of advanced practice nursing. After reading and reflecting on this week’s learning modules, it is clear that theory serves a necessary purpose in the nursing profession and should be maintained in the nursing curricula. 

References

     Iskandarani, L. S., Al Hammadi, A. M., & Al Gizani, R. A. (2012). Importance of nursing theories as a basis for practice. Journal of King Abdulaziz University Medical Sciences, 19(1), 115-123. https://doi.org/10.4197/Med.19-1S.8Links to an external site.  

     Wood, S. K. (2020). Keeping the nurse in the nurse practitioner. Advances in Nursing Science43(1), 50–61. https://doi.org/10.1097/ans.0000000000000301

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Nursing theory is important to the practice of nurse practitioners (NP). As healthcare continues to become more complex due to advances in technology and advanced aging, NPs must have a framework to provide evidence-based care. It is important to acknowledge NPs are uniquely positioned to provide patient-centered care due to their experience as bedside nurses. Wood states “It is the nurse in the NP that renders their distinct value as primary health care providers. It is the nurse in the NP that orients patient care beyond diagnosis and treatment. It is the nurse in the NP that understands a person is not defined by their illness or disease, rendering care based on human wholeness, health/healing/well-being, human-environment-health relationship, and caring (2020).” The nursing theory allows registered nurses (RNs) to utilize knowledge gained in practice and information gained in advanced education, therefore, improving patient outcomes.

Nurse theory provides structure and direction for daily practice.  Without nursing theory, nurse practitioners can easily become physician extenders (Wood, 2020).  Without the foundation of knowledge that nursing theory provides, NPs will lean on the medical model and physicians.  NPs are much more than physician extenders; they provide primary care in a multitude of environments and are often the sole provider.  There are many different nursing theories, therefore they can be applied in various situations. For example, King’s Theory of Goal Attainment or Roy’s Adaptation Model helps with assessments, goal setting and chronic disease management (Wood, 2020).  Nursing theory allows NPs to have a foundation of knowledge or a starting point. It helps the nurse practitioner garner the knowledge and baseline necessary to independently think therefore transitioning from registered nurse to NP.

I believe that nursing theory is important to the nursing profession and to, specifically, nurse practitioners. Every occupation that is considered professional, requiring higher education is steeped in theory. Over the years nursing education has evolved from receiving training from a doctor in a medical setting to a university setting. Nursing theory is important because, thanks to nursing scholars and leaders, who worked so hard, the foundation of nursing practice was developed and an educational curriculum to include theory-based knowledge and practice was included.  Nursing theories provide the foundation upon which a new NP can gain the knowledge, skills, and objectivity to become a highly regarded professional.   

Philosophies and Theories for Advance Practice, chapter 4 explains that there are two types of theories, commonsense theories, and scientific theories. Both of which are important. Nursing theories frame a nurses’ thinking, actions, and the use of evidence-based practice. The benefits of having defined nursing theory include, but are not limited to, better patient care, better communication between nurses, and guidance for further education for nurses and improved outcomes for the patients they care for.

Butts, B. J. & Rich, L. K. (2018). Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing practice (3rd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning. Chapter 2, pp. 21-31, Chapter 4 

Colley. (2003). Nursing theory: its importance to practice. Nursing Standard, 17(46), 33–37. https://doi.org/10.7748/ns2003.07.17.46.33.c3425

Nursing theory is important to the practice of nurse practitioners (NP). As healthcare continues to become more complex due to advances in technology and advanced aging, NPs must have a framework to provide evidence-based care. It is important to acknowledge NPs are uniquely positioned to provide patient-centered care due to their experience as bedside nurses. Wood states “It is the nurse in the NP that renders their distinct value as primary health care providers. It is the nurse in the NP that orients patient care beyond diagnosis and treatment. It is the nurse in the NP that understands a person is not defined by their illness or disease, rendering care based on human wholeness, health/healing/well-being, human-environment-health relationship, and caring (2020).” The nursing theory allows registered nurses (RNs) to utilize knowledge gained in practice and information gained in advanced education, therefore, improving patient outcomes.

Nurse theory provides structure and direction for daily practice.  Without nursing theory, nurse practitioners can easily become physician extenders (Wood, 2020).  Without the foundation of knowledge that nursing theory provides, NPs will lean on the medical model and physicians.  NPs are much more than physician extenders; they provide primary care in a multitude of environments and are often the sole provider.  There are many different nursing theories, therefore they can be applied in various situations. For example, King’s Theory of Goal Attainment or Roy’s Adaptation Model helps with assessments, goal setting and chronic disease management (Wood, 2020).  Nursing theory allows NPs to have a foundation of knowledge or a starting point. It helps the nurse practitioner garner the knowledge and baseline necessary to independently think therefore transitioning from registered nurse to NP.

References:

Wood, S. (2020). Keeping the Nurse in the Nurse Practitioner. Advances in Nursing Science, 43 (1), 50-61. doi: 10.1097/ANS.0000000000000301.

I believe that nursing theory is important to the nursing profession and to, specifically, nurse practitioners. Every occupation that is considered professional, requiring higher education is steeped in theory. Over the years nursing education has evolved from receiving training from a doctor in a medical setting to a university setting. Nursing theory is important because, thanks to nursing scholars and leaders, who worked so hard, the foundation of nursing practice was developed and an educational curriculum to include theory-based knowledge and practice was included.  Nursing theories provide the foundation upon which a new NP can gain the knowledge, skills, and objectivity to become a highly regarded professional.   

Philosophies and Theories for Advance Practice, chapter 4 explains that there are two types of theories, commonsense theories, and scientific theories. Both of which are important. Nursing theories frame a nurses’ thinking, actions, and the use of evidence-based practice. The benefits of having defined nursing theory include, but are not limited to, better patient care, better communication between nurses, and guidance for further education for nurses and improved outcomes for the patients they care for.

Butts, B. J. & Rich, L. K. (2018). Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing practice (3rd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning. Chapter 2, pp. 21-31, Chapter 4 

Colley. (2003). Nursing theory: its importance to practice. Nursing Standard, 17(46), 33–37. https://doi.org/10.7748/ns2003.07.17.46.33.c3425

Nursing theory is essential for nursing because it allows us to understand what we do for our patients and why we do it. Foundational knowledge shows evidence that could improve nursing as a profession and applies methodologies that advance nursing practice (Donaldson & Crowley, 1978). Evidence positively enhances nursing practice and builds an excellent relationship between theory and practice.

Nursing theory guides nursing practice through fundamental knowledge that assists nurses in caring for patients more effectively. Nursing theory methods are what differentiates us from medicine. The founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, the pioneer she was, identified nursing theories rooted in nursing education. Her Environmental Theory stated that nursing “ ought to signify the proper use of fresh air, light, warmth, cleanliness, quiet, and the proper selection and administration of diet-all at the least expense of vital power to the patient” (Melnyk&Fineout-Overholt, 2011). Nursing theory is a vital piece of the nursing profession. It is helpful because we give better care when we understand how to treat a problem; knowledge is power.

Works Cited

Donaldson, S. K., & Crowley, D. M. (1978). The discipline of nursing. Nursing Outlook, 26(2), 113-120.  

Melnyk, B. M., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2011). Evidence-based practice in nursing and healthcare: A guide to best practice (2nd ed.). Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.  

Your real-world example of the Health Belief Model during the Coronavirus Pandemic is spot on. The six components you mentioned are crucial in understanding how people perceive health threats and make decisions related to their health. The pandemic highlighted how individuals’ perceptions of susceptibility, severity, benefits, barriers, cues to action, and self-efficacy significantly influenced their adherence to public health guidelines. It is crucial for healthcare professionals, including nurses, to grasp these concepts and theories to effectively communicate with patients and help them make informed decisions about their health. 
 Additionally, by understanding these theories, nurses can contribute to public health policy discussions and interventions, as you mentioned, regarding nurse practitioners’ involvement in policy creation and revision. It is challenging when individuals hold differing perceptions about health threats. However, a theoretical framework like the Health Belief Model can help nurses empathize with patients’ perspectives and engage in more effective communication and education. 

Throughout this week we have learned a great deal about theory. After much thought and consideration, I can’t think of any profession that doesn’t utilize theory. Because our readings taught us what theory means in so many different ways it fits into every science.  According to Butts and Rich (2018), the theory movement in nursing was only 50 years ago. Back then developing status as a science required theory-based research and scientific development. Up until this point nursing was considered a skill. Nurse scholars and leaders built this foundation for us to protect. 

     Similarly, to what you described this week, nursing research based on our theories is what keeps us providing excellent care despite all the world throws at us. Covid-19 changed a lot of things in nursing. Not all for the better. Research based on the theories we came up with in the midst of Covid 19 saved many many lives. I remember when we were reporting all of our findings with larger hospitals and having huge meetings daily at 3 pm. These huge research hospitals like duke and mayo clinic were asking us (the nurses on the front line) what’s working. What do we need more of based on the care we were giving. We similarly were hearing what was making the forefront in recovery from them and we trialed so many methods.  It was such a tremendous privilege to be a part of the discoveries that saved lives. 

     We cannot let the huge staffing shortages stop us from continuing to create new and precious discoveries. We are not just a profound set of skill and task completers. We are the science. 

References

Butts, B. J. & Rich, L. K. (2018). Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing practice (3rd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning. Chapter 2, pp. 31

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