Importance Of Nursing Theory Essay

1633 words - 7 pages

Nursing theories are the support of nursing practice today. They are significant to nursing practice, education and scientific research because they help to determine, what is already known, and what additional knowledge and skills are needed. Nurses are usually first exposed to nursing theories during nursing education and further exposure comes from hands on training. The gained knowledge, about nursing theories, through education and training enhances better outcomes for patients and caregivers, allows application of professional boundaries, and assists in decision making. In this paper I will attempt to analyze, in general, the importance of nursing theory to the nursing profession; discuss middle-range theory, furthermore Benner’s model of skill acquisition, and how this theory addresses nursing’s metaparadigm; and how this theory views nursing education.
Over the past century, nursing made remarkable accomplishment that has led to the recognition of nursing as an academic discipline and as a profession. Essential in this journey, has been both, the belief that nursing must raise the nature of its work and that nursing is different from medicine, but similarly worthy of professional status. While there is no general agreement as to what establishes correct features of a profession, the following features are frequently distinguished: “a unique body of knowledge, altruistic service to society, a code of ethics, significant education and socialization, and autonomy in practice, i.e. reasonable independence in decision- making about practice and control of the work situation and conditions” (Liaschenko & Peter, 2003, p. 489). These features are clearly distinguished in nursing profession and validated by professional licensure in each state. Furthermore, nursing theory provides the values, which strengthen nursing practice and help to create additional nursing knowledge (Colley, 2003). There are many different nursing theories that are significant to nursing practice, because they help nurses to examine what is already known, and what additional knowledge and skills are required in variety of nursing situations. They provide basis for nursing practice, as well as some additional tools, that help with delivery of better care to patients and caregivers. Finally, nursing theories improve professional status for nurses and provide guidance and direction for research and education (Colley, 2003).
In today’s world, it is essential to incorporate nursing theory into practice. Patricia Benner, through her work, “has provided essential understanding of how knowledge and skills are acquired and directly applied to nursing practice, education, research and administration” (Altmann, 2007, p. 114). According to Benner’s model of skill acquisition, “the nurse passes through five stages of career development, novice, advanced beginner, competent, proficient and expert” (English, 1993, p.387). Specific patterns of behavior,...

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