Early knowledge consisted of loosely connected clusters of concepts. Later knowledge developed interrelatedstatements connecting the concepts. Advanced theory provided a knowledge base for intervention strategies that clusters of concepts could not. Identification of theory is important to understand the characteristics of theory structures. A complete theory of nursing identifies the three elements of context, content, and process; some theorists articulate each element better than others. Context is the environment in which nursing acts occur; the context of a theory describes the nature of the world of nursing and may describe the nature of the patient’s world.
Page 3 of 2 NSG 6006 Pre-Specialty Evaluation ©2017 South University 3 Nursing Theory NSG 6006 Week 3 Content includes the subject matter of a theory; this comprises the stable components that are acted on or that do the acting Process implies the action part of the theory, the intervention elements. In addition to these elements, all theories should be examined for certain common factors: Theories should be based on concepts and propositions Theories should be specific to the nursing context Theories can be applied to many situations Theories should be relevant to potential users Theories should be easy to define it in operational terms Theories should correspond with empirical findings Theories should demonstrate internal consistency. Florence Nightingale made the first attempts at theory-based nursing during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She organized a group of women to deliver care under her supervision and that of war surgeons. She established the need for hygiene, with environmental change as the means to enhance healing. For her, the nursing domain was the patient and the environment in which care was offered. Her goals were to expose the unhealthy conditions of soldiers, to gain support for the need for nurses, and to achieve formal education for nurses. She was the first to use data collection and analysis to prove efficacy of nursing actions. Theory is defined as "an organized, coherent, and systematic articulation of a set of statements related to significant questions in a discipline that are communicated in a meaningful whole; a symbolic depiction of aspects of reality that are discovered or invented for describing, explaining, predicting, or prescribing responses, events, situations, conditions, or relationships" (Meleis, 1997, pp. 8,12)1. Thus, a theory is a coherent set of propositions and statements that describe (factor-isolating), explain (factor-relating), and predict (situation- relating) phenomena as well as prescribe (situation-producing) actions toward goals. (Dickoff et al., 1968) Theory development requires perceiving phenomena that are peculiar to nursing and proposing meaningful explanation for these perceptions. The nursing profession identifies four levels of theory — metatheory, grand theory, middle range theory, and practice theory. The theories are classified based on their levels of abstraction or complexity.
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- Fall '17
- Nursing, Nursing Theory NSG