Nursing Theory: Foundation for Nursing as a Profession

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Nursing Theory: Foundation for Nursing as a Profession
Wilma J. Vintson
Chamberlain College of Nursing
NR 501: Theoretical Basis for Advanced Nursing
Fall 2011

Nursing Theory: Foundation for Nursing as a Profession
This paper will discuss nursing theory and review how it relates to nursing as a profession. It will also focus on aspects of Virginia Henderson’s theory on the complementary-supplementary model of nursing. Nursing leadership, as it relates to Henderson’s theory, will also be discussed. Nursing, being both a science and an art, is a knowledge-based profession that focuses on the wholeness of human beings. This is established though nursing theory that guides research, and practice that can generate new ideas. Theory will clearly differentiate nursing from other professions. In order for a theory to exist it must contain concepts. These concepts are words or phrases that summarize ideas, observations, experiences, and must be related to each other. Theoretical statements describe a concept or the relationship between two or more concepts (Creasia, and Parker, 2007 page 110). Nursing theory has four levels of theoretical views; meta-theories, grand theories, middle-range theories, and practice theories. Meta-theories have the most abstract concepts. Grand theories have relatively abstract concepts, yet, they do establish a discipline’s identity and boundaries (Creasia, & Parker, 2007). Middle-range theories encompass a limited number of concepts that are relatively concrete and are easier to test (McCurry, Revell, & Roy, 2010). Practice theories consist of only one or two concepts that are limited to a particular event (Nicely, DeLario, 2011). As we look to the future of nursing, a major phase is preparing nurses to be effective leaders. One of the major competencies they will have to possess is having expert decision-making skills so they can be prepared for the unpredictable. It will take a well rounded, through...
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