purposes of nursing theory in education
Nursing has accepted theory as basic to its practice; however, the use and development of nursing theory is constrained by the approach used in nursing education. It is not appropriate or sufficient to isolate theory in one course. Moreover, confining nursing theory courses to graduate curricula, which is the custom in many schools of nursing, suggests that to focus on theory in the profession is esoteric. These curricular approaches inhibit socialization of students to the value of theory as essential to practice. It is imperative that nursing education engage students in theory-related content at all levels. This article presents a scheme to achieve systematic integration of theory-related content in curricula at all levels of nursing education from associate degree to doctorate. Through theory-based practice, nursing will come to realize its full potential as a discipline.
Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI.
- Physiological needs cover areas relating to sleep, eating, dress and environment.
- Psychological needs highlight communication, emotion, learning and handling fears.
- Spiritual needs relate to faith and worship.
- Social needs cover accomplishment and recreational activities.
Community – Through community, two or more people are able to discover the innate meaning of their actions by sharing ideas and experiences with one another.
Nursing theories are the basis of nursing practice today. In many cases, nursing theory guides knowledge development and directs education, research, and practice. Historically, nursing was not recognized as an academic discipline or as a profession we view it today. Before nursing theories were developed, nursing was considered to be a task-oriented occupation. The training and function of nurses were under the direction and control of the medical profession. Let’s take a look at the importance of nursing theory and its significance to nursing practice:
A term given to describe an idea or responses about an event, a situation, a process, a group of events, or a group of situations. Phenomena may be temporary or permanent. Nursing theories focus on the phenomena of nursing.
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Professor and Director, School of Nursing, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI.
A grand theory is just what it sounds like: compared to middle-range and practical theories, grand theories offer a sweeping overview of the nature and goals of professional nursing.
Nursing theory is an essential component of any level of nursing education. For nurses advancing their education, the higher level of reading and analysis required by an MSN curriculum offers the opportunity to examine more complex concepts of nursing theory alongside the practical experience they have already gained. Those who aspire to become nurse educators can build on nursing theories to train students and have an impact on the future of nursing.