Nursing Theory


A theory is a set of ideas or an idea whose purpose is to explain events or ideas. Theories encompass models, definitions, propositions, concepts and are based on assumptions. They are designed through two major principal methods, that is, inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning. The nursing theory refers to an informed structuring of ideas that project a purposeful, systematic and tentative perception of phenomena. Nursing theories are used to develop, disseminate, describe and use present knowledge in nursing.

Forms of nursing theory

The first form of nursing theories is nursing practice theories. This is the lowest level of nursing theory as it is considerably limited in its abstraction and scope. They are designed for use under the specific nursing situation. They provide a guideline for nursing interventions; predict impact and outcomes of nursing practices under specific conditions.

The second form of nursing theories is mid-range nursing theories. The middle-range nursing theories are of higher rating as compared to nursing practice theories. They act as a bridge between nursing practice theories and grand nursing theories though they are also limited in their scope and abstraction. These theories offer propositions and concepts though at a lower level of abstraction but they are accredited with increasing theory-based research and strategies for nursing practice.

The last form of nursing theories is grand nursing theories. These are the highest ranked form of nursing theories as they provide the broadest scope by presenting general propositions and concepts. These theories are not to be subjected to empirical testing although they provide insights useful for practice. Due to this concept, the theories are limited to explaining, directing and predicting nursing in specific situations. The grand theories offer broad and conceptual frameworks defining perspectives for practice and means of approaching nursing phenomena based on perspectives.

Importance of nursing theory

Nursing theories are meant to help the nurses in their daily interaction with the patients to meet their needs concerning health. The nursing theory main goal is to predict, describe and explain the nursing phenomena under specific situations. They offer the nursing practice foundations by aiding in the generation of further knowledge and provide the basis for nursing future development. Theories are very crucial as they help nurses develop on what they know and the urge to discover what they don’t know. In addition, nursing theory helps nurses in establishing a unique body of knowledge. Nursing theories guide the nurses in their efforts to assists the patients thus improving the quality of service delivery.

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