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Week 2: Overview of Theory in Nursing

The first week of this course provided a brief introduction to how theory–along with philosophy and science (including research)–informs nursing practice. This week, you will examine the importance and influence of theory in greater depth, focusing on how nursing theory has evolved and how theories are classified. You will also examine how theory can lead to the development of significant research questions, and, ultimately, the application of evidence-based practice.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

•Assess the application of nursing theories to nursing practice

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

McEwin, M., & Wills, E. M. (2019). Theoretical basis for nursing. (5th ed.) Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health.

•Chapter 2, “Overview of Theory in Nursing”

Chapter 2 presents the evolution of nursing theory and examines the different types of theories that serve as a foundation for nursing practice.

Gray, J.R., Grove, S.K., & Sutherland, S. (2017). Burns and Grove’s the practice of nursing research: Appraisal, synthesis, and generation of evidence (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier.

•Chapter 5, “Research Problem and Purpose”

Chapter 5 explores a process for identifying, selecting, and refining research topics and articulating the purpose of the research.

Algase, D. (2009). The centrality of theoretical thinking and the value of empirical evidence. Research & Theory for Nursing Practice, 23(4), 251-252. doi:10.1891/1541-6577.23.4.251

This article explores the concept that humans are natural theorists along with the importance of using empirical evidence to support theories.

Gould, D, Moralejo, D., Drey, N., & Chudleigh, J. (2010). Interventions to improve hand hygiene compliance in patient care. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (9).

This systematic review examined recent hand hygiene intervention studies seeking to improve hand hygiene compliance.

Kolcaba, K., Tilton, C., & Drouin, C. (2006). Comfort theory: a unifying framework to enhance the practice environment. Journal of Nursing Administration, 36(11), 538-544.

The use of Comfort Theory by a not-for-profit New England hospital to provide a coherent and consistent pattern for enhancing care and promoting professional practice when applying for Magnet Recognition Status is described in this article.

McCurry, M. K., Revell, S. M. H., & Roy, S. C. (2010). Knowledge for the good of the individual and society: Linking philosophy, disciplinary goals, theory, and practice. Nursing Philosophy, 11(1), 42–52. doi:10.1111/j.1466-769X.2009.00423.x

This article explores many facets of the social concept nursing, and how nursing contributes to the good of society. The philosophical underpinnings, perspective, goals, and application to practice of the social mandate are examined.

K​nowledge for the good of the individual and society: Linking philosophy, disciplinary goals, theory, and practice by McCurry, M. K., Revell, S. M. H., & Roy, S. C., Vol. 11/Issue 1. Copyright 2010 by John Wiley & Sons – Journals. Reprinted by permission of John Wiley & Sons – Journals via the Copyright Clearance Center.

O’Connell, K. (2009). Theories used in nursing research on smoking cessation. Annual Review of Nursing Research, 2733–2762. doi:10.1891/0739-6686.27.33

This article identifies theories, theoretical frameworks, and conceptual models that can be applied to a specific topic. In addition, the article discusses ways nurses can devise new theories through their expert knowledge of clinical issues.

Optional Resources

Brilowski, G., & Wendler, M. (2005). An evolutionary concept analysis of caring. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 50(6), 641–650.

Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.

Connor, M.J. (2004). The practical discourse in philosophy and nursing: An exploration of linkages and shifts in the evolution of praxis. Nursing Philosophy, 5(1), 54–66. doi:10.1111/j.1466-769X.2004.00152.x

Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.

Falk-Rafael, A. (2005). Advancing nursing theory through theory-guided practice: The emergence of a critical caring perspective. Advances in Nursing Science, 28(1), 38–49.

Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.

Knight, C. M., Moule, P., & Desbottes, Z. (2000). The grid that bridges the gap. Nurse Education Today, 20(2), 116–122. doi:10.1054/nedt.1999.0374

Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.

Discussion: Application of Theory to Practice

Post your responses to the Discussion based on the course requirements.

Your Discussion postings should be written in standard edited English and follow APA guidelines as closely as possible given the constraints of the online platform. Be sure to support your work with specific citations from this week’s Learning Resources and additional scholarly sources as appropriate. Initial postings must be 250–350 words (not including references).