Tips on How to Write Theory-Based Practice Nursing Essays
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What is Theory-Based Practice in Nursing?
Theory-based practice is a framework for advanced nursing practice that allows nurses to systematically and efficiently analyze and interpret published information, research, and clinical data in order to come up with the best outcomes for implementation in a real-life setting. Theory-based practice enables nurses to conduct the best research in a theoretical setting in a purposeful and proactive manner (Raudonis & Acton, 1997).
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The Critical Role of Theory in Nursing
Theory-based practice learning material is critical for nursing students because it ensures that they acquire the knowledge and insights necessary to develop and perform their duties as nurses effectively. Theoretical information enables nurses to comprehend significant research, guidelines, and advance nursing practice frameworks conducted by peer-reviewed experts on a variety of nursing specialties. This level of awareness is critical for nurses to provide quality care and advance in their nursing professions. Nursing students must grasp the value of theory in their education before placing a premium on practical skills.
Nursing theory encompasses a variety of facets and assists nursing students in a variety of ways as they prepare for their roles as nurses. A significant facet of nursing theory is that it enables nursing students to comprehend various ways and acquire various tools that can be used to provide excellent care to their patients. Nurses must always keep in mind that their primary goal is to provide care that best suits a patient’s interests, values, and needs. Additionally, theory is critical in nursing since it enables nursing students to comprehend what has been covered by previous scholars and identify gaps which require further research.
What is a nursing theory?
Nursing theory is a wide phrase that describes and clarifies the “phenomena of interest.” Nursing theory enables advanced practice nurses to apply their knowledge in medical care and evidence-based research. Gaines (2020), who holds a MSN and is a registered nurse, defines a nursing theory aptly as “a creative and rigorous structuring of ideas that project a tentative, purposeful, and systematic view of phenomena.”
A nursing theory serves a variety of goals, mirroring the numerous specialties found in professional nursing. Ultimately, the goal is to facilitate the provision of the highest possible quality of care. A nursing theory’s functions are to direct thought, define roles in health and sickness care, and organize the evolution of nursing education and research.
What is the importance of theory in nursing?
Establish a rigorous framework for professional nursing practice and decision-making.
First, nursing theory establishes a rigorous framework for professional nursing practice and decision-making. Nursing theory is classified into three broad categories: grand theory, middle-range theory, and nursing practice theory. Each of these beliefs contributes to the nurse’s ability to deliver more competent patient care. The objective of nursing theories is to direct, encourage, and enhance nursing autonomy. By developing a standard nursing terminology, nursing theory promotes communication with other healthcare workers and helps generate concepts and words. Theories have become indispensable for excellent decision and execution since they serve as the foundation for the collection of trustworthy and meaningful facts.
Provide a framework for assessment, treatment, and evaluation of care.
Second, nursing theory is critical to nurses’ and advanced practice nurses’ practice because it provides a framework for assessment, treatment, and evaluation of care. A theory provides a quantifiable framework for assessing the quality of nursing care. Nursing theory has a variety of helpful applications. Nursing theory lays a framework for research and a framework for assessing, diagnosing, and intervening with patients. It enhances the competence and value of nursing practice. Nursing theory establishes a common language for communication between advanced practice nurses and other health care professionals involved in a patient’s care. It upholds the advanced practice nurse’s “professional autonomy,” accountability, and liability.
Benefits of Theory-Based Practice
Our theory-based nursing essay writing experts have done conclusive research and came up with the following benefits of learning theories in nursing : Creating structure and organization; creating a methodical, intentional approach; enhancing focused, coordinated and less fragmented treatment plans; and coming up with defined and traceable goals and outcomes.
Challenges of Theory-Based Practice
While nursing theories have numerous benefits, there are certain difficulties to creating and utilizing a nursing theory. Below are some challenges to theory-based practice as identified by our nursing essay writing experts:
Traditional View of Nursing
First, nurses are regarded as traditionally viewed as doers rather than intellectuals. College nursing students enter the healthcare workforce to serve as advocates and to assist others, not to consider philosophical or ethical questions.
Nursing Careers & Financial Requirements vs. Theoretical Research
Second, financial strain and an emphasis on career success within the nursing field have been shown to be significant impediments to philosophical reflection on nursing and the pursuit of education and training.
Nursing Theories Have A Broad Application
The primary impediment to properly applying a nursing theory is attempting to apply the incorrect type of theory, or model, to a particular nursing circumstance or specific population. A single theory cannot be used on every patient’s circumstance.
Comprehension in Application
Finally, given that nursing theories have a broad application, some nurses may lack a sufficient comprehension of the various nursing theories in order to apply them to a practical nursing case study. Theories need to be modified to a particular patient’s case. These modifications must be within advanced nursing practice guidelines. This can be a significant impediment to applying theories in nursing.
19 Tips on Theories to Write About for College Nursing Papers
There are numerous well-defined and peer-reviewed theories in nursing by various renowned philosophers and esteemed nurses. Florence Nightingale, Jean Watson, and Dorothea Orem are three well-known nursing philosophers. In the section below, our nursing theory-based practice essay writing experts have come up with a list of 19 tips on topics on theories based on various philosophers. For more information on what these theories encompass, refer to the Healey Library.
Tip 1: Write About Florence Nightingale’s Theory on What Nursing Is (or Not)
In 1860, Florence Nightingale released “Notes on Nursing: What it Is and What it Isn’t.” These notes evolved into the fundamental foundation for nursing study and practice. Salsberry (1994) reviews Nightingale’s work on what nursing is and finds that “nursing philosophy is the profession’s belief system, providing views for practice, scholarship, and research.”
A nursing philosophy is a summary of one’s fundamental beliefs regarding nursing practice. It is a summary of the perspective on what nursing is, what it aspires to be, and how that vision might be accomplished. Nursing philosophy is concerned with the nature of nursing, the nurse-patient connection, and nursing’s heart. It guides nurses’ education and training and evaluates their performance. Nursing philosophy is a dynamic representation of who we are, “what and how we know,” and “what and how we do within the field.”
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Tip 2: Write About Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring
Between 1975 and 1979, Jean Watson established the Theory of Human Caring. This approach establishes nursing as a distinct field and distinct healthcare field with its own specific ethics, expertise, and traditions.
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Tip 3: Write About Dorothea Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Nursing Theory
Dorothea Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Nursing Theory is based on her conviction that individuals are capable of caring for themselves and their families. According to her philosophy, nurses must provide care for patients who are unable to care for themselves.
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Tip 4: Write About Synergy Model by AACN
The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses defines the Synergy Model as a model whose emphasis is on aligning the needs of a patient or population under focus and the competencies acquired by a nurse in order to achieve an optimal outcome for the patient while ensuring nurses are satisfied with their input.
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Tip 5: Write About Patricia Benner: Professional Advancement Model
Patricia Benner, in her works titled “From Novice to Expert” defines the professional advancement model as a theory whereby nurses gain expertise through research and clinical experience through 5 levels of experience. These levels in order are: novice, advanced beginner, competent, competent, proficient, and expert.
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Tip 6: Write About Madeleine Leininger: Cultural Care Diversity & Universality
Madeleine Leininger’s theory on Cultural Care Diversity & Universality, or Cultural Care Theory as it is commonly referred to as, is a model that explores the effects on provision of care due to the differences in beliefs, norms, cultural values, way of living, and practices among different populations.
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Tip 7: Write About Anne Boykin & Savina Schoenhofer: Nursing as Caring
Cardinal Stritch University (2022) explore Anne Boykin and Savina Schoenhofer’s theory on Nursing as Caring and stipulate that it is based on 6 fundamentals or assumptions:
- People are caring by virtue of their humanness.
- People live their caring moment to moment.
- People are whole or complete in the moment.
- Personhood is living life grounded in caring.
- Personhood is enhanced through participating in nurturing relationships with caring others.
- Nursing is both a discipline and a profession.
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Tip 8: Write About Hildegard Peplau: Interpersonal Relations Model
Hildegard Peplau’s Interpersonal Relations Model defines nursing as an inter-personal process that involves 4 critical components of people, environment, health, and nursing which are encompassed in 4 sequential phases of orientation, identification, exploitation, and resolution.
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Tip 9: Write About Ida Jean Orlando: Theory of the Deliberative Nursing Process
Ida Jean Orlando’s Theory of the Deliberative Nursing Process is a theory that examines how nurses must factor in and validate perceptions, meanings, and interpretations held by patients before making an analysis and defining a strategy if they are to achieve the best outcomes. The deliberative nursing process has 5 stages which are assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation.
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Tip 10: Write About Virginia Henderson: Henderson Nursing Model
Virginia Henderson’s Henderson Nursing Model defines the need to ensure and safeguard a patient’s independence in order to achieve desired outcomes faster. By believing that they can once again take care of themselves, patients advance along the care management plan quickly.
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Tip 11: Write About Nola Pender: Health Promotion Model
Nola Pender’s Health Promotion Model is a theory that goes beyond in defining the entire health and well-being of a person and not just on the basis of absence of disease. This theory is crucial in promoting healthy lifestyles and holistic care.
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Tip 12: Write About Kate Lorig: Chronic Disease Self-Management
Kate Lorig’s Chronic Disease Self-Management is a theory that explores how patients with chronic ailments can manage their conditions better and more innovatively in order to achieve the best outcomes.
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Tip 13: Write About Merle Mishel: Uncertainty in Illness Theory
Merle Mishel’s Uncertainty in Illness Theory explores how both patients and caregivers approach uncertainty in the course of treatment or management. It also provides a framework and proposes best nursing practices on how to select the most suitable interventions that impact and improve psychological and behavioral outcomes of uncertainty (Bora & Buldukoğlu, 2020).
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Tip 14: Write About Afaf Meleis: Nursing Transitions
Afaf Meleis’s Nursing Transitions theory provides a framework for patients, caregivers, and communities on transiting between illness and good health situations. It is a crucial theory in developing research for specific patients or populations.
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Tip 15: Write About Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms (TOUS)
The Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms (TOUS) is a theory that defines how to measure symptoms, assess factors affecting these symptoms, provide a framework for management and prevention, and develop a guideline for monitoring and self-care management.
The Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms (TOUS) has 3 major components:
- Symptoms experience.
- Factors influencing these symptoms.
- Consequences of these symptoms.
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Tip 16: Write About Theory of Symptom Management
The Theory of Symptom Management is a theory that provides a framework for nurses on averting, delaying, or minimizing symptoms experienced by a patient. This framework also provides a basis of evaluation of outcomes before and after implementation of a care management plan in order to assess if the outcome(s) are the best for the patient (Bender et al., 2018).
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Tip 17: Write About Nursing Role Effectiveness Model
Nursing Role Effectiveness Model is a model that addresses the challenges of assessing the significance of a nurse’s contribution in a healthcare setting. It evaluates these contributions based on 3 variables: structure, process, and outcome.
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Tip 18: Write About Joanne Duffy: Quality Caring Model
Joanne Duffy, Ph.D., and registered nurse (RN), developed the Quality Caring Model. This model defines the role of nurses as one that requires them to develop a relationship with patients in which the patients feel cared for. This theoretical framework is crucial in theory-based practice as it emphasizes that nursing is a relationship-based practice.
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Tip 19: Write About Sister Callista Roy: Adaptation Model of Nursing
Sister Callista Roy’s Adaptation Model of Nursing is a theory that aims at defining an individual as a set of interrelated systems that respond to different stimuli through various coping mechanisms with an aim of achieving physic integrity.
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Tips on Writing a Theory-Based Practice Nursing Paper
Below are 6 tips on how to write a theory-based practice nursing paper.
Tip 1: Select a Nursing Theory.
Nursing students writing about a theory will need to select one theory that they are well-versed with and are highly proficient to write about. Refer to the 19 tips on what to write about provided by our nursing essay writing experts above and chose an appropriate theory.
Tip 2: Start with an outline.
Once you have selected a topic, draft an outline for your nursing paper. In the outline, split your paper into three sections: introduction, body, and conclusion.
Under each section stated above, define sub-headings, major points, supporting points, and evidence/credible sources that will be used to support your claims. These should be written down in point-form. For further guidance on how to write an outline for a college nursing essay, refer to our guide via this link.
Tip 3: Use appropriate headings.
Once you have drafted an outline for your nursing paper, write down your first draft.
Tip 3a: Using sections and sub-headings defined in the outline, expand your content appropriately. You will need to write in complete, concise sentences marked by a transition to enhance the flow of your essay.
Tip 3b: Ensure that your introduction has a thesis statement; usually the last statement of your intro. It should also have a definition of the nursing theory you selected as your topic.
Tip 3c: Important sections to include in your body paragraphs in a nursing theory paper include the the importance of the theory in question, components of the nursing theory, how it can be applied to a nursing case study, and reflections or insights that you have learnt from the theory. You can also relate the nursing theory to an experience you had during the course of your practice.
Tip 3d: Finally, you should also include a conclusion that has a summary of major highlights. Please note that a conclusion should not offer new information. Instead, it should identify gaps in research which are opportunities for further studies.
Tip 4: Use Peer-Reviewed Sources.
For most nursing students, the process of locating significant and the best available clinical evidence can be overwhelming. Ensure that you use credible sources such as peer-reviewed journals and other scholarly academic material in formulating major points, providing supporting evidence or data, and reference any section of your paper. You will need to add an in-text citation for each source used. Ensure that there is a corresponding entry in your bibliography/reference page.
Tip 5: Write your Paper Section-by-Section.
Writing a college nursing essay section-by-section has been explained under another article here. This is very important as it allows you to flow systematically from one section to another. In addition, it enables a student to allocate sufficient time for each section and meet the deadline for submission.
Moreover, writing a paper section-by-section enables a student to place greater emphasis on sections that have more weight and carry more points as stipulated in your grading criteria in the rubric. By scoring maximum points in these sections, students are a step closer towards getting an excellent grade in their nursing paper.
Tip 6: Proofread and Edit your Draft Severally
Once you finish writing a draft, proofread your paper in order to edit out grammatical and syntax errors. Moreover, ensure that the content is at par with your course outcomes or learning objectives and meets advanced nursing practice guidelines.
Once done with editing out these errors, run your paper through a plagiarism checker before submitting it in order to ensure that it is plagiarism-free.
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