Nursing Theory

If one were to try to decipher the underpinnings of any profession, one should only have to look at the curriculum in which builds and creates members of said profession. For the profession of nursing, The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the professional body who establishes the national standards of nursing education at a bachelorette and advanced practice level.   The AACN recently released several guidelines called “Essentials” (2011), which set forth the pillars of nursing education to ensure graduates are prepared for their future in healthcare.   These guidelines set forth the ideas and concepts that are valued in the profession of nursing.
The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing listed 10 essentials in which the master’s prepared nurses education should be shaped.   The facets of these essentials are many; however, one which is repeatedly seen throughout the guidelines is theory.   According to the AACN (2011), a nurse must utilize and master leadership theory, change theory, ethical theory, systems theory, theories of policy making, learning theory, and teaching theory. Theory is included in seven of the 10 essentials, which leads one to see the value placed on theory in the education of nurses.  
One thing that is certain in healthcare is that it is always advancing.   Technology is always changing, allowing for new knowledge to be discovered.   Research is the means in which we acquire new knowledge.   According to Roussel (2009), “Each result of nursing research adds tested facts to nursing theory that can be learned by nursing students and active practitioners” (p. 35).   When evaluating recently funded research projects in the United States, it can be determined that areas of interest are varied.   For instance, on their website, the Emergency Nurses Association identified the research priorities to be work place violence, emergency nursing professional practice issues, crowding/boarding, and patient safety.   By searching the...