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Tradtion To Evidence Based Practice This Essay Illistrates Historical Developments In Nursing Research

1341 words - 5 pages

Tradition to Evidence Based PracticeYou are the nurse caring for Mr. Smith who has a diagnosis of neutropenia. The family brings him an arrangement of live plants. A sign on Mr. Smith's door lists precautions; one states no live plants. The family asks why and you explain that the soil has bacteria and due to Mr. Smith's low white cell count, he is susceptible to infection. The family wonders how the bacteria in the soil can cause an infection. You tell the family that this practice is a precaution to protect the patient. The family is satisfied with your answer. However, their question of "how" has left you questioning the rationale for no plants in the room.Nursing knowledge is acquired through several means; tradition, authority, borrowing, trial and error, personal experience, role-modeling and mentorship, intuition, reasoning, and research. (Burns and Grove, 2002). Many nurses base their practice according to ritual and tradition without questioning the validity of what they do. Nurses would agree that providing the best quality care to patient's results in positive outcomes. But what is the best care and how do we know that our interventions are current and beneficial? This paper will explore the developments of nursing knowledge and nursing research that has brought the profession to where it is at today.Nursing research is not separate from nursing practice, it is a process that is interconnected with, is influenced by and influences other nursing components. These are philosophy, knowledge, science, theory, research, abstract thought processes, and nursing practice. (Burns et al, 2003).Theory DevelopmentNursing Theory links nursing knowledge to research and nursing practice. Dennis (1997) defines nursing theory as "a set of concepts and propositions derived from philosophical beliefs about the phenomena of interest to the discipline; relationships between concepts and propositions of a nursing theory purport to describe and explain characteristic phenomena of interest to nursing". (Dennis,1997 p.2). Nursing history is laced with nurses who have developed theories to explain nursing. Florence Nightingale is considered the first theorist and nurse researcher. Her principles of pure air, pure water, efficient drainage, cleanliness, light, proper nutrition, and rest were necessary elements to prevent spread of disease and maintain good health. Her precepts formed the basis of education for nurses during this time period.Theoretical ResearchThe 1950's, 1960's, and early 1970 saw the emergence of nurse researchers who sought to answer the questions pertaining to the role of the nurse and patient - nurse interaction. During this period, nurses developed nursing theories derived from the fields of sociology, and education. (Kukkala and Munnukka, 1994). Prominent figures were Hildegarde Peplau, who was concerned about developing interpersonal interaction between patient and nurse. Virginia Henderson focused on assisting the patient to gain...

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