Nursing theories and their importance in nursing
Jennifer J. Wilson
Chamberlain College of Nursing
NR 501: Theoretical Basis for Advanced Nursing
Nursing Theory is often defined as,” an organized framework of concepts and purposes designed to guide the practice of nursing” (Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing, 2012). Nursing theories can help patients, managers and other healthcare professionals to recognize what and how much that nurses do contribute to the healthcare field. I never did realize how important theories in nursing practice could be until I became a nursing student myself. Nurses use theories in their everyday practice, but never think about them as being responsible for guiding our clinical skills. However, in the student’s eye, it is very easy to see how important theories are in practice. The concepts of Florence Nightingale’s Environment theory will be discussed in relation to how it impacts the nursing profession and patient care. The key concepts of Nightingale’s theory and their relationships with one another will be summarized as well as its relationship to nursing education. Importance of Nursing Theory
Nurses will use theories in their practice to help guide them through their daily tasks, patient assessments and also to help make and individualize patient goals and interventions to provide the best care. Nurses study theory as it helps assist the student in building their critical thinking skills. Theories provide a good foundation for clinical practice, improved communication between nurses, better patient care and guidance for research and education. When nurses comprehend and use nursing theory in their practice along with their intuition and compassion, they should become an efficient and strong nurse. All of these traits are important in our daily lives as nurses. Having these theories in place helps nurses to use their critical thinking skills in order to provide our patients with the best care possible. Summary of Nursing Theory
The Environment theory was formed when Nightingale found that the health institutions had poor sanitation, health workers had little education and training and were frequently incompetent and unreliable in attending to the needs of the patients. She stated in her nursing notes that nursing "is an act of utilizing the environment of the patient to assist him in his recovery" (Nightingale, 1860). I selected this theory because it still plays a very important part in our nursing practice today. The purpose of this theory is that Nightingale believed that the environment could be altered to improve conditions so that the natural laws would allow healing to occur. These ideas grew from observations that poor or difficult environments led to poor health and disease. Nurses today still follow all of the appropriate safety protocols in order to protect healthcare workers as well as the patients from further infections. For example, nurses have personal protective equipment (PPE) that can be used according to protocols for protection as well as other safety procedures to follow. Nightingale also felt that a nurturing environment could make a difference in the health of the patient. In Nightingale's metaparadigm of nursing, honed by her years of experience in the field and hospital settings, care for the patient is positioned at the core of the nursing process from a practical standpoint, while recognition of the patient as more than a symptom, condition, disease or injury establishes a holistic approach to care in general (Nightingale, 1946). Nightingale not only emphasized the concept of care in her work and writing; she also emphasized health and the proper use of environmental resources. She introduced how the environment could have effects on the patients’ health and ways it could be improved. She identified five environmental factors: fresh air, pure water, efficient drainage,...
References: Bostridge, Mark. Florence Nightingale: The Making of an Icon. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2008.
Florence Nightingales Metaparadigm of Care. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 20:55, January 17, 2015, from http://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/2000377.html
Nightingale, F. (1860).Notes on nursing: what it is and what it is not. New York:D.Appleton And Company.
nursing theory. (n.d.) Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing. (2012). Retrieved January 17 2015 from http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/nursing+theory
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