The progress in the development of theoretical nursing is definable in terms of seven stages. Each of this stage has helped nurses come close to identifying the domain of nursing, to defining its mission, and defining its theoretical base. The development of the discipline of nursing is tied to its theoretical development. Without its development, the practice of nursing would remain to where Florence Nightingale left it – in the stage of practice.
Stage of Practice, Apprenticeship and Service. During this stage the mission of nursing was defined as providing care and comfort to enhance healing and sense of well-being and to create a healthy environment that helps decrease suffering and deterioration. Nurses defined their domain to include the patient and the environment in which the care is offered. b.
Stage of Education and Administration. The focus of nursing is on what curriculum to develop and what training programs to offer to teach nursing practice. Almost three decades were spent experimenting with different curricula, ways of preparing teachers, modes of educating administrators for schools of nursing and for service, and ways of preparing nurse practitioners. c.
Stage of Research. The momentum in nursing education, curriculum development, teaching and learning strategies, and in administration also led educators to an interest in research. Experts in nursing curricula recognized that without research and a systematic inquiry into, for example, the different teaching/learning modalities and the teaching/learning milieu on outcomes, education of nurses could not be improved. Nurses began to engage in nursing inquiries and scientific endeavors. It was also during this stage when nurse researchers started to give emphasis on scientific syntax – the process rather than the content of the research. d.
Stage of Theory. The fundamental questions about the essence of nursing, its mission and its goals began to surface in a more organized way. An incisive...
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