The nursing profession requires continued research to improve patient outcomes. When a gap in nursing care is perceived, often a theory is presented to improve patient care and outcomes. Nursing theory is an idea or intuition based on perceived or needed improvements in nursing care or patient outcomes. Through this process, nursing theory keeps the nursing profession moving forward and constantly advancing, after all, most of what we do is evidence-based, so it would only make sense that our theories and components that drive us are also constantly evolving. Nursing theory is simply a framework for the nursing profession (CCN, 2015).
The theory is so much of what defines us as nurses. Whether we realize it or not, everything we do has a theory behind it. Before this course, I had little exposure to nursing theory and its application in the clinical realm. I knew things were done a certain way but truly did not know the origin of the ideas that influenced current nursing care. During the completion of my BSN degree, I grasped a basic concept of nursing theory and studied the major theorist involved. It has been very eye-opening to view nursing theory in such a new light and to further study the clinical implication of its integration in practice during this course.
Nursing theory is used to explore how science and medical knowledge have impacted the advancement of nursing theories over the years. Nursing theory has experienced a significant transformation over the last few decades. In the late 1800’s, Florence Nightingale defined what it was to be a nurse and how it was more than a caregiver role because it required skill and knowledge. It wasn’t until a century later, that the concept of nursing was changed from a subservient caretaker to a profession with its own foundational concepts and theories to guide practice which marked the beginning of nursing theory development (McEwen & Willis, 2014). In this paper, I will be focusing on the theory of Human Caring developed by Jean Watson. Watson incorporates Nightingale’s concept that all nursing actions are guided by the nurses caring.
The nursing theory lays the foundation for professional nursing practice. Theories help define nursing and help to differentiate it from other healthcare professions by establishing professional boundaries. Overall, the use of theory in nursing practice leads to organized and more cohesive theories that require integration into all levels of education and appreciation relevant to clinical application. When one is furthering their education in a master’s or doctoral program, the programs focus on analytical thinking. An example of why theory should be included in a master’s program is that the significance of theory for analytical thinking is necessary for nursing practice.
Theory helps students to utilize theoretical and analytical thinking when referring to IMPORTANCE OF THEORY nurse situations as well as provide clarification on pertinent knowledge required for professional practice. There can be a concern that nursing theory could be outdated or overshadowed. Nurses are looking more at evidence-based practice instead of theory because, in today’s world of nursing, there is a major emphasis on practice guidelines, standards of care, and competenciesSummary of Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring
Summary of Theory
The Theory of Human Caring was developed and founded by Jean Watson in 1979 and was published in her first book (Parker; Smith, 2015). The latest edition of the Theory of Human Caring can be found in Watson’s book, Nursing: The Philosophy and Science of Caring, Revised New Edition, which was written in 2008. This publication includes all the changes made