Comparing Grand Theories
There are several definitions of nursing theory today. Meleis (2012) defines nursing theory as a conceptualization of some aspect of nursing reality communicated for the purpose of describing phenomena, explaining relationships between phenomena, predicting consequences or prescribing nursing care. Nursing theories have been used and still used today as theoretical framework to guide in nursing clinical decision making and better practice. There are three categories of nursing theories, which include grand theories, middle-range theories and situation-specific theories. Grand theories are broader in scope and more abstract. It includes the mission of nursing and goal of nursing care. Meleis (2012) states grand theories are constructed from a synthesis of experiences, observations, insights and research findings. Middle-range theories are less abstract with a limited scope. It is also easily used in clinical practice and addresses specific concepts or phenomena. These concepts are easily used in a wide variety of nursing care situations and nursing fields. Empirical testing and knowledge is used. Lastly, situation-specific theories have a more limited scope than middle-range theories. It focuses on specific phenomena reflecting clinical practice. It is also specific to a specific population and field of practice. Grand theories are then further divided into four groups; needs, interaction, outcome and caring. Need theorist focus in helping individuals fulfill their physical and mental needs, interaction theorist focus around nurse-patient relationship during time of illness, outcome theorist is based on balance and stability, energy, caring theorist focus on the humanistic universe health process, including mind and spirit. With that said, the table below shows a comparison and contrast of four different grand theorists from the aforementioned school of thought, reflecting...