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Introduction and

Emergence of Nursing
Theory
Maria Girlie D. Jordan, MSN
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
Nursing as a profession
What does it require to be a
profession?

Heres a hintthere are 2 major


criteria.
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
Nursing as a profession
What does it require to be a profession?

First a profession must have an


institutionalized goal or social mission
Second Each profession must support
a cadre of investigators whose role is to
continuously advance its knowledge
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
Traditional learned professions
Physician
Lawyer
Clergy
Police officer
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
What makes a traditionally caring based
profession like nursing different from those
already mentioned?

Caring functions typically performed by


nurses were for too long considered to be
mere extensions of the duties and
obligations of wives and mothers, for which
large amounts of professional knowledge
were not considered essential (Reverby,
1987)
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
How do we change that?
Increasing our knowledge base
Health promotion
Degree entry level???
Research
Can we reach a global consensus
when there are such a large variety of
roles within nursing?
Nursing Theory -
Introduction and
Emergence
The language of theoretical thinking
Concepts
Something conceived in the mind
Empirical
Abstract
Meta-paradigm
Identifies the core content of a discipline
Consists of concepts unique to a profession
Nursing Theory -
Introduction and
Emergence
4 Concepts of Nursing
Person
Health
Environment
Nursing

These concepts interrelate to create


the Meta-paradigm of Nursing
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
Person
Individual, family, community, man
The recipient of nursing care
Health
State of well being mutually decided on
Environment
Immediate surroundings, community
Nursing
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
Knowledge of the discipline
Nurses generally agree that humans
are biopsychosocial beings (Engel,
1977)
We agree that not only are we charged
with caring for the ill, but also with
leading them toward wellness
We all possess knowledge of factors
that influence health and well being
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
How does nursing theory factor into
this equation?
It assists us in understanding and
synthesizing our understanding of
persons and how to best serve their
needs
There is no single universally applicable
theory
Theory development and with testing
and critical evaluation
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
The discipline of nursing
Donaldson & Crowley use three general
themes to describe the core of nursing

1. Concern with principles and laws that


govern the life process, well-being,
and optimum functioning of human
beings
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
The discipline of nursing

2. Concern with the patterning of


human behavior in interaction with
the environment in critical life
situations
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
The discipline of nursing

3. Concern with the processes by


which positive changes in health
status are affected
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
Those themes are suggested as a
guide to inquiry and theory
development in nursing

How do we apply these themes in


our everyday practice, or do we??
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
Nursing has been described as
both an art and a science
Healthcare, health promotion, and
disease prevention
What is unique to the practice of
nursing that is not practiced by any
other discipline?
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
Where do you think nursing falls on
this spectrum?

Vocational ----------------------------------------------Respected
Level Professional
level
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
Professions evolved based on societal
needs
Professions evolve because the service
they provide is valued
Professions require a scientific and
theoretical basis
Since universities have been the locus of
theoretical development, professional
disciplines have traditionally been housed
there
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
What constitutes a theory?
Theories are the interrelation of
Concepts
Definitions
Principles
Propositions
Key ideas
Basically, a suggested direction on
how to view the facts
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
Prescriptive Theories
Putting gained knowledge into practice
Descriptive Theories
Describe phenomena in an attempt to
explain it

Nursing uses both!


Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
Theories vs. Conceptual Models
Propositions
Theoretical assumptions
Must be seen as truth because they
are empirical, not a quantitative
measure
Levels of theory
Micro, macro, midrange, holistic
Narrow vs. broad focus
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
Cyclical nature of theory, research,
and practice
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
Categories of theories
Needs/problem-oriented theories
Interaction-oriented theories
Systems-oriented theories
Energy field theories
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
Characteristics of a theory
Interrelation of concepts to create
different ways to view a phenomenon
Logical in nature
Relatively simple yet generalizable
Hypotheses should be testable
Increase the body of knowledge of a
specialty
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
Characteristics of a theory
Easily usable by practitioners to guide
and improve practice
Consistent with other validated
theories, laws, and principles yet has
unanswered questions needing
investigation (Torres, 1990)
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
How would you interpret this quote from
Kenney

Failure to recognize the existence of the


discipline as a body of knowledge that is
separate from the activities of
practitioners has contributed to the fact
that nursing has been viewed as a
vocation rather than a profession
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
Structure of the discipline of nursing
Major conceptualizations include:
We deal with humans
We deal with the living
Humans interact with their environment from
cellular to societal levels
Illness---continuum--health and well being
Humans have different levels of functioning
Human emotions interrelate with homeostasis
and morphogenesis (growth)
Nursing Theory
Introduction and
Emergence
So, to summarize:
Research aimed at studying the
hypotheses of theories which is
important to achieve validity
Quantitative and qualitative research
both matter
No single theory is global in context
Theories are frameworks just
another way to work through and
apply the nursing process

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