Application of Theory to the Practice Problem of Nurse Staffing Marialena Murphy
Grand Canyon University
August 10, 2011
Application of Theory to the Practice Problem of Nurse Staffing Nursing theory influences the practice of nursing in a multitude of ways that can have a profound impact. Theory provides a framework to support and define nursing practice, support quality of patient care, and can be implemented in practice situations to provide solutions to nursing practice problems. Applying theory to resolve nursing challenges can be utilized in educational and research settings, direct patient care situations, as well as in administration and management of nursing care services. The benefits of applying theory to address a practice dilemma can be demonstrated by applying Jean Watson’s theory of human caring, and Ken Wilbur’s integral theory and examining how these theories impact the problems surrounding nurse staffing situations in an acute care hospital setting. Practice Problem Identification and Importance
A review of the nursing literature demonstrates that supporting nurse staffing ensures quality nursing care for patients and has been an ongoing challenge for nurse managers and administrators. Failure to ensure sufficient numbers and compassionate nurse staff has been demonstrated to negatively impact patient satisfaction and outcomes. The nurse staffing problem is not limited only to ensure adequate numbers of staff that are being lost in the acute care settings due to overwork, burnout, compassion fatigue and injuries; the nurse staffing problem also includes the impact to patient care and to the nursing work force when compassion and caring is absent and the negative effects this has on both the patient and the nurse (Douglas, 2010). Traditional methods of addressing nurse staffing issues with financially based recruitment and retention plans have not resolved these issues; however, applying the theory of human caring to the issue of nurse staffing provides important insight and solutions that can assist managers, administrators and organizations to improve the delivery of care, support nurses as a valuable resource and improve patient outcomes. Theorist Biography
Jean Watson, PHD, RN, AHC-BC, FAAN is a distinguished professor of nursing, and recipient of the Murchinson-Scoville Endowed Chair in Caring Science, at the University of Colorado in Denver, Colorado. She is a scholar, author, teacher, and founder of the Watson Caring Science Institute, an international, non-profit foundation that is dedicated to supporting, expanding and extending the theories and practices of human caring in healthcare (Watson Caring Science Institute, n.d). Jean Watson has six honorary doctorates and has traveled throughout the world cultivating, teaching and operationalizing the theory of human caring in the work of nurses and health care. Jean Watson was born in West Virginia in July of 1940. She graduated from nursing school in 1961 in Virginia and then went to the University of Colorado to complete her BS, and MS in nursing and her Ph.D. in 1973. Concepts and Propositions of the Theory
The major concepts of the theory of human caring are based on the assumption that the essence and foundation of nursing resides in caring science as the crux of the discipline of nursing (Watson, 2008). Interpersonal interactions are the primary expression of caring, however caring is not necessarily limited by physical, space or time limitations and this relational connection provides a reflection of our humanity in each other (Watson, 2008). Caring can be described in ten carative factors or processes that promote wholeness, healing, health and the process of evolving and growth for the individual and family. Caring harmonizes with curing and medical science while providing authentic relationships that encourage the “emergence of human spirit” (Watson, 2008, p. 17). Caring and the practice of caring is...
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