The importance of Theory in Nursing

Topics: Nursing, Nursing theory, Health Pages: 5 (1636 words) Published: November 24, 2013

Discussed in this paper will be nursing theory and review its importance to nursing as a profession. It will also focus on aspects of the nursing theorist Virginia Henderson and her theory on the complementary-supplementary model of nursing. Nursing leadership, as it relates to Henderson’s theory, will also be discussed. Nursing theory itself is defined as an organized framework of concepts and purposes designed to guide the practice of nursing (Dossey, 2008). There will be multiple sections in this paper discussing an analysis of the importance of nursing theory, summery of key concepts related to the theory, and review of how the theory affects nursing leadership. Section one

The prominence of nursing theory to the profession of nursing is of endless enormousness. McCurry, Revell, & Roy (2010) note that the nursing profession has a responsibility to add to the well-being of society by utilizing evidence-based practice. Nursing knowledge is made on theories that answer questions to the problem of science. When a theory is confirmed by research it is verbalized into nursing practice. The actions of; research, theory and evidence-based care shape nursing’s goals and values to improve the care and health of families, individuals, and society. Therefore, this makes the theory of nursing a foundation of nursing as a caring profession. According to (Dossey 2008), now is a point and time in nursing when there is a demand for a new language. This language will take the best evidence known and the art of nursing, to have great impacts on the human caring theory to a new level. It is through these methods and opinions that the nursing profession will be more prepared to share the expertise, knowledge, and critical-thinking skills for corresponding assistance to others in creating proper health and healing. According to Wagner and Bear (2009), theoretical definitions give a better meaning to the concept being studied which directs the theory and research. This method permits theory to have a positive impact on nursing by encouraging active patient care and in turn increasing patient satisfaction.

Section two
According to Virginia Henderson’s theory of complementary-supplementary, she establishes her definition of nursing as: The unique function of the nurse is to assist the individual, sick or well, in the performance of those activities contributing to health or its recovery (or to a peaceful death) that the person would perform unaided given the necessary strength, will or knowledge, and to do this in such a way as to help the individual gain independence as rapidly as possible (Henderson 1961). Virginia Henderson conceptualized the nurse’s role in the profession of nursing as supporting the sick or well human being in a supplementary or complementary manner. Henderson is known as the “First lady of nursing,” as she started nurses thinking about “The Concept of Nursing.” Henderson’s theory has such a broad range of ideas that her theory can be used in many nursing processes. Henderson’s key concepts recount the modules of nursing care to 14 basic patient needs and definitions (Henderson, 1961). 1. Breathing normally -If oxygenation is insufficient organ function can be compromised or destroyed. 2. Eating and drinking adequately -to establish and maintain hydration and normovolemia for adequate organ function. 3. Eliminating body wastes - to maintain stability of kidney function and bowel elimination. 4. Moving and maintaining a desirable position -to prevent skin breakdown, pulmonary infiltrates, and pneumonia. 5. Sleeping and resting -To optimize system functions.

6. Selecting suitable clothes -To preserve dignity.
7. Maintaining body temperature within normal range by modifying the environment and adjusting clothing - In order to prevent damage to body systems. 8. Cleanliness and well groomed of the body to protect the integument-To protect the integument system and the patient’s dignity....


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Clark, D. (1997). The unique function of the nurse… tribute to Virginia Henderson.
International Nursing Review, 44(5), 144-152.
Creasia, J. L., & Parker, B. J. (2007). Conceptual Foundations: The Bridge to Professional Nursing Practice (4th ed), St. Louis, Missouri: Mosby.
Dossey, B. M. (2008). Theory of integral nursing. Advances in Nursing Science, 31(1), E52-E73.
Henderson, V. A. (1961). Basic Principles of Nursing Care. London: International Council of Nurses. Huston, C. (2008). Preparing nurse leaders for 2020. Journal of Nursing Management, 16(8), 905-911.
McCurry, M., Revell, S., & Roy, S. (2010). Knowledge for the good of the individual and
society: Linking philosophy, disciplinary goals, theory, and practice. Nursing Philosophy, 11(1), 42-52.
Nicely, B., & DeLario, G. T. (2011). Virginia Henderson’s principles and practice of nursing applied to organ donation after brain death. Progress in Transplantation, 21(1), 72-77.
Wagner, D., & Bear, M. (2009). Patient satisfaction with nursing care: A concept analysis within a nursing framework. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 65(3), 692-701.
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