Researching Nursing Theories

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Nursing Theories Implementation

The importance of nursing theory in the profession of nursing is crucial since it provides the theoretical foundation of the profession. Particularly, nursing theory gives a definition to the very profession of nursing and its objectives, defines nursing discipline by outlining values, ethics, goals, and beliefs, clarifies standards of clinical practice, and the goals and outcomes of patient care (Im & Chang, 2012). In addition, it creates the framework for thought in which particular situations inpatient care are examined, it provides a structure for an organization, decision making, and analysis, and it establishes the foundation for communicating with other team members participating in inpatient care (McEwen & Wills, 2011).

To illustrate, one of the contemporary nursing theories designed by Callista Roy, the Roy Adaptation Model, establishes the framework for understanding adaptation practices in clinical practice. This theory explains the goal of nursing as the promotion of adaptation in varied modes of adaptation. Another example is the Self-Care Deficit Theory of Nursing developed by Dorothea Orem. This theory unites three important theories of nursing practice, which are the theory of self-care, theory of self-care deficit, and theory of nursing systems. This theory demonstrates the relationship between the following meta paradigms: person, environment, health, and nursing.

In nursing practice, nursing theories have a wide scope of implementation on a daily basis. In essence, they help develop the knowledge foundation for clinical patient care and for assisting patients and families in personal care in their home settings. Moreover, the theoretical foundations originating from nursing theories help in consideration of legal and ethical issues, in organizing administrating procedures, and in facilitating effective work of all team members in a clinical setting including ancillary and technical staff.

Silent Knowledge Phase

The silent knowledge phase dating from 1859 to 1950 is characterized by limiting nursing research to epidemiological outcomes. This phase is peculiar for blind obedience to medical administration with little or no effort to develop nursing theory through the training programs implementation. During this stage of nursing theory development, the hospital apprenticeship model of learning was practiced. Nurses were largely exploited by doctors both as students and as workers. In addition, an acute shortage of nursing educational establishments and textbooks was observed. Generally, the silent knowledge phase puts an emphasis on following physicians’ orders.

Reflecting on the silent knowledge phase, its limitations are evident since nurses were dependent on physicians to the full extent. This factor had negative implications not only for nurses but for doctors as well since they had to spend much time and energy on instructing. Nowadays, when nurses have acquired a wide base of theoretical knowledge, independence and autonomy are the most valuable characteristics of the nursing personnel. The more a nurse is capable of demonstrating leadership qualities in one’s work and in achieving excellent results in inpatient care, the better medical outcomes become possible.

As far as I am concerned, nursing professionalism is measured by the ability to act individually and implement theoretical knowledge in practice to provide a patient with high-quality care. In times of the silent knowledge phase, the idea of nursing professionalism was rather ambiguous as well as the role of a nurse in the treatment procedures. Historically, this period played an important role in the evolution of nursing practices because it identified the weaknesses of nursing theoretical foundations and the consequences of these limitations for the client experience in hospitals.


Im, E., & Chang, S. (2012). Current trends in nursing theories. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 44(2), 156-164.

McEwen, M., & Wills, E. (2011). Theoretical Basis for Nursing (3rd ed.). New York: Wolters Kluwer Health.

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NursingBird. "Researching Nursing Theories." April 18, 2022.