Nursing Theory

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There is an obvious deficiency in the application of theory in nursing practice. This paper will include a discussion of how nursing practice is affected by the use of nursing theory. I will provide evidence in relation to how theory based practice relates to the core competencies of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) project. I will discuss a journal article that reinforces the gap of nursing theory in nursing practice, and interview colleagues regarding the incorporation of theory in their individual practice. In conclusion I will express my own view point of why theory has been neglected. Nursing Practice Theory

In the 1920’s the American Journal of Nursing published proof that nurses use research in their practice. The discovery of theory as a foundation of nursing practice began in the 1960’s. Research and theory exploded among the nursing profession through case studies (American Nurses Association, 2010). Nurses began documenting their research which allowed other nurses to validate the research and theory by putting the ideas into action. Theories were developed for two main reasons: to increase education and to improve nursing care. Theory helps nursing provide exceptional care by using research and education while also explaining the phenomenon of nursing. Theory proved to society that nursing was a scholarly profession. However almost 100 years later there is an embarrassing deficit of theory based practice amongst nurses. (Sitzman & Wright Eichelberger, 2011) Further proof that nursing theory is imperative to practice is clear to many organizations. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) project identified core competencies to improve health care. These competencies are as follows, safety, patient centered care, informatics, teamwork and collaboration, quality improvement, and evidence based practice. In my opinion I believe all six areas are used on a daily basis in my practice as a nurse. I ensure my patients safety through the use of time out prior to all procedures, fall risk assessment, and frequent rounding. Safety is also maintained by using technology such as bed alarms to prevent falls and dose mode on intravenous pumps to confirm titration calculations. I also confirm patient’s identification by using the “5 rights” prior to any treatment or medication administration to ensure patient safety. I incorporate patient centered care by planning care around my patients needs. Informatics is incorporated through electronic health records and through the hospital’s intranet. I practice teamwork and collaboration by participating in critical care rounds every night to discuss the plan of care for my patients. We perform most patient care as a team; we try to never say “that’s not my patient”. We continuously collaborate with our colleagues about our patient’s plan of care and any issues that arise. Quality improvement is one core competency used daily. After any emergent situation we engage in a debriefing procedure. We review what occurred and how it could go better in the future. I research through electronic resources and online databases such as ebsco host and lexicomp to ensure the use of evidence based practice. Research eliminates trial and error and integrates innovative solutions to nurses across the world. If theory could be applied to all nursing practice the quality of health care would reach a shocking new level. Many articles clearly state that there is a problem integrating nursing theory and practice. The integration of theory and practice was discussed in an article published in the journal of Nursing Philosophy. The article calls on the social responsibility of the nursing profession to link nursing practice with theory, philosophy, and disciplinary goals. “The integration of theory into nursing practice provides a guide to achieving nursing’s disciplinary...
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