Is Nursing Theory Important to Profession Free Essay

Total Length: 322 words ( 1 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 3

Although ultimately nursing is about patient care, theory is ultimately what guides best practices, ensures consistency of care across multiple modalities, and also informs how nurses view themselves, their colleagues, and their role in healthcare. Nursing theory might seem like an abstract issue, but throughout the history of the profession, nurses have consistently demonstrated the importance of clarifying their theoretical perspectives and nursing philosophies. Nursing theory is important to the nursing profession because theory undergirds practice.

Research shows how important nursing theory is for nurse education. One Finnish study shows that an empathic and caring nursing theory promotes a constructive learning environment that promotes optimal professional development (Mikkonen, Kyngas & Kääriäinen, 2015). Because nurse education programs are where all professionals receive their formative training and experience, it is important to provide nursing students with the theoretical viewpoints that will guide their practice throughout their careers.

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McEwen & Wills (2017) also show how nursing theory helps guide administrative practices in healthcare institutions, as well as properly situating nursing within the healthcare disciplines. Theory is what provides nurses with a framework for understanding patient care, leadership, and how to think critically even during challenging situations.

Theory also provides the best possible grounding for nurse leadership. As Scully (2015) points out, “an acknowledgement of the shifting paradigm of leadership theory and the context in which future nurse leaders are destined to grow, the ultimate goal of the nursing profession – excellent in person-centered care – can be achieved,” (p. 439). Although theory generation and support in academic literature can seem daunting to nurses, it is always important to keep in mind the ways theory helps frame paradigms of nursing practice.


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McEwen, M. & Wills, E.M. (2017). Theoretical Basis for Nursing. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Mikkonen, K., Kyngas, H. & Kääriäinen, M. (2015). Nursing students’ experiences of empathy of their teachers. Advances in Health Sciences Education 20(3): 669-682.

Scully, N.J. (2015). Leadership in nursing. Collegian 22(4): 439-444.

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