Application of nursing theory to practice

Application of nursing theory to practice

Application of nursing theory to practice can be challenging, especially for new graduates who are making their way into the profession. Research, practice, and theory provide learners with patient care knowledge. Are you a nursing student with no idea how to apply nursing theory into practice? Keep reading this article.

What are nursing theories?

Nursing theories are structured frameworks of ideas and objectives that direct nursing practice. To classify the function of nurses, the goal of the nursing field, and the suggested results of nursing as a field, health care workers and theorists.

Understanding nursing theories and the application of nursing theory to practice is a core factor as a student or a practicing nurse. Four concepts form nursing theories. This includes;

  1. Nursing

This is the professional providing patient care in a healthcare setup. With the help of or on behalf of the customer, the nurse provides care through their traits, behaviors, and activities. Although there are several interpretations of nursing, it may be difficult for academics to agree on the precise term. The improvement of care delivery is the ultimate objective of nursing theories.

  1. Environment

This involves the conditions and surroundings influencing patients, nurses, and care delivery. The external and internal surroundings that impact the patient are referred to as the environment (or scenario). It covers all aspects of the participant’s physical surroundings, such as their family, relatives, and significant others, as well as the place in which they receive medical care, whether they are favorable or unfavorable.

  1. Person

This is the person who receives nursing care in a healthcare setup. They can also be referred to as clients or human beings. The care recipient might include communities, individuals, families, certain groups, or patients.

  1. Health

The level of well-being or wellness a patient experiences is what is referred to as their level of health. For every patient, the clinical situation, and the healthcare professional, it can signify something different.

History of nursing theories

The application of nursing theory to practice first appeared in 1800 when the nursing profession was strongly emphasized. In her theory, Florence Nightingale defined nursing as using the environment to help patients recover from their illnesses. Around the 1950s, some nursing scholars who wanted the field to validate itself by producing body knowledge tested scientifically made a consensus.

Throughout the years, various theorists tried to develop different concepts that would lead to an introduction to nursing theories. In 1979 John Watson came up with a philosophy of taking care of patients and highlighted the humanistic aspects of the nursing profession as they integrate nursing practice and scientific knowledge.

Environmental elements of nursing theories and theorists

Nightingale recognized the significance of a patient’s surroundings to their general well-being and health by identifying the possible risk factors for disease or circumstances that might aggravate an illness and maybe result in death.

 Nurses and other healthcare workers started treating patients differently, marking the beginning of public health and global health. Florence Nightingale listed five environmental elements in relation to the application of nursing theory to practice her Environmental Theory:

  1. Pure water and fresh air
  2. Adequate drainage
  3. Sanitation or cleanliness
  4. Direct sunshine or light

These elements were crucial for reducing morbidity and mortality as well as the spread of dangerous diseases. Florence Nightingale may have put forth the initial nursing theory in 1860, but it is still highly relevant today. Mortality and morbidity are higher in nations without access to safe air, pure water, effective drainage, sanitary conditions, sunlight, or direct light.

How application of nursing theory to practice affects healthcare facilities

Nursing theories form the foundation of nursing exercise and are vital while caring for patients. Magnet and academic hospitals consistently apply nursing theories to practice to ensure the best results while caring for patients.

Most institutions and nurses apply various nursing theories in their everyday activities. The theories assist nurses in evaluating patients’ care and findings.

 The nursing theories can also give nurses the justification they need to do particular actions. The treatment of a Jehovah’s Witness patient who rejects blood donations illustrates a nurse principle in action.

Even though a blood donation may be necessary, Dorothea Orem’s Self-Care theory gives nurses a strong foundation for helping their patients and allowing them to exhibit control and autonomy in caring for themselves. Orem’s approach stresses the significance of letting the patients make a choice and recognizing it as their own, even though the nurse might disagree with the patient’s choice to forego a transfusion.

Application of nursing theory to practice is frequently not as straightforward as in the instance mentioned above. The significance of nursing theories and their influence on contemporary medicine and health care, however, must be understood and respected by nurses and nursing students.

Who uses nursing theories?

Nursing theories are used in practice by all nurses, irrespective of their position or area of expertise, but not all nursing staff know their consequences. Professional nurses and nurse researchers use the majority of nursing theories.

Nursing leaders will use nursing theories while developing course curricula based on instructional concepts, studies, and concepts to give nursing students the knowledge and abilities they need to take care of their patients. Nurse researchers will conduct theory-driven research to develop industry standards, forecast potential clinical issues, or clarify existing information.

Nursing meta paradigms

Countless nursing theories have been introduced in the nursing sector. Though they are different, they all center around the metaparadigm in nursing. A metaparadigm is a set of ideas or theories that structure how a discipline should operate. Nursing metaparadigms are classified into two categories: nursing, environment, health, and person.

All medical theories are based on these four essential ideas, and a theory would be lacking without a clear understanding of these principles and how they apply to them. Additionally, these four fundamental nursing metaparadigms emphasize a patient’s holistic patient care and are intertwined with one another to form a coherent whole.

Nursing theory levels

  1. Nursing practice theories

These theories sharpen their emphasis even more by concentrating on ideas about a particular patient demographic. In addition to the other two categories of beliefs, these theories frequently have an immediate impact on patients. These theories are frequently applied in the daily practice of bedside nurses.

  1. Midrange nursing theories

Instead of dealing with broad principles, these theories focus on particular nursing subfields. They may appear due to the nursing profession, research, or related disciplines’ theories.

  1. Grand nursing theories

These theories are built on big, complicated, and abstract ideas. They offer a broad foundation for nursing concepts like people and health. Usually, the experiences of the nurse theorist are what inspire them.

Importance of application of nursing theory to practice

Today’s nursing practice is based on nursing theory. This frequently serves as a guide for knowledge expansion and as a direction for practice, study, and teaching. In the past, nursing was not acknowledged as a field of study or as the modern-day vocation it is now. This shows the importance of nursing theories in nursing practice.

Before the creation of nursing theories, nursing was seen as a task-oriented profession. Nursing education and practice were governed and directed by the medical community. Let’s examine nursing theory’s relevance to the nursing profession and its relevance to nursing theory:

  1. Through their clear descriptions of nursing, nursing theories aid in identifying the principles that should guide practice
  2. A nursing theory enables nurses to comprehend their role and purpose in the healthcare environment by defining nursing
  3. Theories provide nurses with the knowledge base needed to act and respond correctly in nursing care scenarios and also function as a reasoning or scientific justification for nursing actions
  4. Nursing theories serve as the cornerstones of the nursing profession, produce new knowledge, and suggest future directions for nursing
  5. Nursing theories can assist managers, patients, and other medical practitioners in recognizing and comprehending the special input that nurses make to the health organization by giving nurses a feeling of belonging 
  6. Nursing theories help nurses examine their presumptions and challenge their values, thereby clarifying nursing and broadening their body of knowledge
  7. Nursing theories seek to categorize, foresee, and explain nursing phenomena 
  8. Nursing theories might be viewed as an effort by the nursing field to uphold and retain its limitations and bounds as a profession
  9. Studies and evidence-based practice can both benefit from the guidance of nursing theories
  10. Nursing theories give nurses a standard vocabulary and terminology to utilize in operation and communication.
  11. Provides a framework for the creation of programs for nursing training and education
  12. Nursing theories frequently serve as a guide for knowledge expansion and as a direction for practice, investigation, and training, though each influences the others.

To sum up

Congratulations on reading to this point. You now know all about the application of nursing theory to practice. The concept of the Nursing theory emerged in 1800 when the demand for nurses rose steadily. Various theorists kept developing concepts until the 1970s when nursing theories and applications in healthcare centers were implemented.

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