Nursing Theory

Healthcare is an ever-changing field. There is one thing that is and will always be constant, that is the role a nurse plays in the outcome of a patient’s ability to return to a normal state of healthcare and independence. How that goal is reached depends not only on the patient, but on the nursing theory and philosophy that influences the nurse approach to healthcare. There are many factors that make up a nurse’s basis for theory. Those factors include the nurse’s background personal and professional as well as their experience in the field.
Nursing theory is critical to the progression of the nursing profession.   Nurses need to continue to develop new as well elaborate on current theories in order to identify ways to improve nursing care.   A nurse’s educational and clinical background as it applies to that timeframe is factors in developing a theory.   Another factor that is just as relevant as the nurse’s viewpoint is the social culture at the time .   In order to meet the demands of an ever changing society nursing theorist need to continue to advance and change with them. Florence Nightingale developed the framework that encompassed four concepts that include the patient, nurse, environment and nursing.   Today, that framework can be identified in current theory models.
There are three main types of theories, grand, mid-range and narrow range, all with a different focus.   Grand theories are more generalized concepts with a broad scope that can be applied to explaining and predicting nursing practice.   Mid-range theories are geared toward more empirical situations while narrow range theories are generally applied not only to empirical situations but generally target a specific idea.   The chart below describes four types of grand theories as well as an example of a nurse who contributes to that thought process.   All of these theorists have the same goal which is to restore health.   However the roadmap to reach that goal is different.