Importance of Theory: Patricia Benner's From Novice to Expert J.A.
NR-501: Theoretical Basis Advance Nursing
July 18, 2014
Importance of Theory: Patricia Benner's From Novice to Expert Such as the human race itself, the profession of nursing as evolved tremendously over time. In the early stages of nursing, nursing practice was based on traditions and values that were passed down through an internship model of education .The profession was completely dependent upon absolute medical directions; however, the profession has developed into an independent practice modality with its own models and nursing theories (Alligood, 2010, p. 3). Higgins and Shirley (2000) details four levels of nursing theory that has been recognized by the nursing profession: Practice Theory, Middle Range Theory, Grand Theory and Metatheory. Each theory can be categorized based on its level of specificity and concreteness of its concepts. Metatheory is considered the most abstract while practice theories are considered the least abstract. For the purpose of this assignment, Patricia Benner’s Novice to Expert—middle range theory—was chosen for analysis. First, I will present an analysis of the importance of nursing theory to the nursing profession. Next, I will provide reasons for selecting this theory, a summary of key concepts and relationships among these concepts. Later, I will present a discussion of how the selected nursing theory views nursing education. Finally, I will conclude by sharing ideas learned from writing this paper. To begin to discuss the importance of theory and how it is applied to the field of nursing, nursing theory is defined. Nursing theory seeks to define, predict and clarify the phenomenon of nursing. Nursing theory assist the body of nursing in clarifying beliefs, values, and objectives. In addition, theory impacts patients by providing better patient care, enhanced communication between nurses and other members of the health care team, and theory provides guidance for research and education (American Nurse Association, 2013). Nursing theories are important and critical to novice nurses because it is the very essence of these theories that new graduates nurses build their foundation for practice. For example, new nurse graduates should know that by providing pre-surgical patients with information detailing what to expect before and after surgery, the patient tends to experience less anxiety after surgery. Similarly, nurses should know that providing patients with fresh air, clean water, cleanliness, proper lighting, low noise stimulus are factors in the patients environment that assist him to recovery. However, new nurse graduates may not understand that these interventions are a product of nursing practice theory (McKenna, 1999). In addition, nursing theory provides the groundwork for nursing research, which is critical to help create evidence based practice (EBP) to influence the quality of patient care. For example, Covell and Sidani (2013) employed nursing theory in their research to understand how nursing knowledge influenced the quality of care directed to hospitalized patients. Researchers initially focused on understanding the connection between nurse staffing levels and the incidence of adverse events such as patient falls (Covell & Sidani, 2013). The newly developed middle-range theory was used to test Covell and Sidani (2013) proposition, as a result, it was concluded that patients received better quality of care with units with higher levels of educated and experienced nurses. In addition, Alligood (2010) aimed at improving the quality of patient care and nurse staff satisfaction by implementing Modeling and Role-Modeling (MRM) nursing theory in practice. In conclusion, Alligood (2010) reported that implementing theory—MRM nursing theory—as a model and process for nursing thought, improved patient quality of care and provided better staff satisfaction. These are just a few examples...
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