Importance of Theory in Nursing
There are different opinions on the importance of nursing theory to the nursing profession. For instance, a post on an online forum by BCRNA (2010) asserted that nursing theory is only guides nursing as an academic discipline but is not relevant in practice. In the post, the author claimed that “nursing theory was created to justify nursing as an academic discipline in a time when no one believed nursing belonged in a university. Then it was used to justify doctoral level nursing”. This post started a chain of conflicting responses with some people gunning for the relevance of nursing theory and other dismissing it as irrelevant schoolwork.
I believe nursing theory is quite important to the nursing profession. Besides helping nurses to communicate and interact effectively with their patients, nursing theory also helps in identifying patients’ needs, establishing courses of care and evaluating the efficacy of the care process. Nurses who rely on specific theories in their practice know the direction in which their practice is heading since nursing theory guides their research and education. In addition to having improved professional standings, these nurses also deliver better patient care.
In a research study aimed at elaborating the application of nursing theory in clinical practice, Ahtisham and Jacoline (2015) proved that theory-based practice can enhance human health. The researchers applied Virginia Henderson’s Need Theory to the case of Ms. X, a 25-year-old patient who had been admitted after attempting suicide. The theory was applied to the patient’s nursing assessment, diagnosis, the course of care, interventions and intended outcomes. The case study proved that the Need Theory helps experienced nurses to collect relevant data on their clients’ health status, which sequentially enhances the provided quality of care. Irrefutably, nursing theory is relevant to the nursing profession since it helps in recognizing patients’ needs, delivering and evaluating holistic nursing care (Ahtisham & Jacoline, 2015).
1. Ahtisham, Y., & Jacoline, S. (2015). Integrating Nursing Theory and Process into Practice; Virginia’s Henderson Need Theory. International Journal of Caring Sciences, 8(2), 443-450. Retrieved from http://www.internationaljournalofcaringsciences.org/docs/23_ahtisham.pdf
2. BCRNA. (2010). Is Nursing Theory Actually Used by Working Nurses? Allnurses.com. Retrieved 18 November 2017, from http://allnurses.com/nursing-and-professionalism/is-nursing-theory-522699.html