Master of Arts in Nursing

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THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK FOR NURSING PRACTICE

MODULE ONE

INTRODUCTION TO THEORY

Specific Objective:

At the completion of Module 1, you will be able to:

1. Explain the development of the discipline of nursing

2. Discuss the metaparadigm of nursing

3. Discuss the nursing process

4. Describe the levels of theory development and their relationships.

LESSON 1- THE DISCIPLINE OF NURSING

Nursing has a mandate to provide health care for clients at different points in the health – illness continuum. It is now considered as an evolving profession. There is a knowledge base, authority over education, altruistic service, a code of ethics and registration requirements for practice ( Mc Ewen, 2007 )

A discipline is a unique perspective, a distinct way of viewing all phenomenon which defines the limits and nature of its inquiry. It is a branch of knowledge ordered through the theories and methods evolving from more than one worldview of the phenomenon of concern. According to Mc Ewen (2007) nursing’s knowledge base draws from many disciplines. In the past it has depended heavily on physiology, sociology, psychology and medicine to provide academic standing and to improve practice. However, recently nursing has been seeking what is unique to nursing and developing those aspects into an academic discipline.

What are the components of a discipline?

1. Research- this is a systematic method of inquiry to discover an/or validate knowledge thus establishing a knowledge base to be used in practice. It contributes to the development of theory for practice.

2. Theory- is an intellectual invention which groups knowledge, ideas and experience seeking to illumine a given phenomena. It involves intellectual operations and is comprised of facts, principles, and concepts that are arranged to claim their interrelatedness. It describes something, a happening, a phenomenon, or explains phenomena and organize ideas and knowledge.

Theory development is essential to nursing practice in that it describes, predicts, controls and explains phenomenon of interest to nurses. It validates, enhances and improves nursing practice promoting understanding and explanation of the phenomena and gives rise to the body of knowledge.

3. Practice – It is the application of the discipline with a knowledge base a vehicle for implementation of theory as well as validation and impetus for research.

According to Meleis (2007) there are 4 important defining characteristics that determine nursings perspective:

1. Nature of nursing as a human science
2. Nursing as a practice- oriented discipline
3. Nursing as a caring discipline – the caring relationships that nurses and patients develop 4. Nursing as a health oriented discipline. It is an art where nurses grasp the meaning that is inherent in their encounter with patients, establish connections with clients skillfully perform nursing activities, choose between alternatives and to morally conduct nursing practice.

The Stages in the Development of the Nursing Discipline

1. Stage of Practice, Apprenticeship and service- In this stage the mission of nursing is to provide care and comfort to enhance healing and sense of well- being and to create a healthy environment that helps decrease suffering and deterioration.

2. Stage of Education and Administration- In this stage the focus of nursing is on what curriculum to develop and what training programs to offer to teach nursing practice also, what educational programs are best for prospective nurses, and what is the best venue for the education of nurses; is it the university or in the hospital

3. Stage of Research- In this stage nurses begin to look for means to improve the practice of nursing. Nurses begin to engage in nursing inquiries and scientific endeavors. Thus,...
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