Nursing Practice, Research and Theory

Practice, Research, and Theory

In the nursing profession, there is need to include the aspects of practice, research and theory to ensure the provision of quality services. In the nursing profession, practice defines the unique and distinct process of managing and taking care of all ailing persons from various backgrounds, age, and medical conditions. The core functions aim at ensuring the promotion of health, mitigation of diseases, management of the  medical conditions, and assisting the sick, disabled, and those on the verge of  death. Research represents the scientific exploration on the various aspects in the medial field with an objective of systematically providing a solution with the potential of having benefits to the medical conditions of people. When applied in the nursing field, research provides a means of coming up with solutions that help in coming up with care processes and procedures that nurses can apply in the course of their work. Theories in nursing represent a study that incorporates a documented nursing practice. Theories in general represent a collection of general propositions that provide principles of explanation. When taking in the perspective of nursing, theories indicate a set of concepts, propositions, assumptions and principles that are obtained from the various nursing models constructed in a way that illustrates an inter-relationship among concepts that aim to expound more on a situation through description, explanation, prediction, and prescription of the way forward. Nursing theories include a collection of concepts and purposes created with an aim of guiding the practice of nursing.

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Relationship between Practice, Research and Theory as they relate to nursing

The aspects of practice, research and theories in the nursing field are intertwined closely with each playing a major influence on the other. Bauso et al. (2004) consider that the theory framework is constructed from practice and replicates through research where concepts and theories are analyzed and developed. It can be further discovered that a situation experienced by the nurses in practice may call for further investigation to discover more attributes. This is achieved by the creation of a concept of interest which makes it possible for the development of theories that are directly connected to clinical practice. One way through which research is achieved is by studying the concepts. The concepts are relevant in the construction of theories. Through research, these concepts are analyzed and their viability in application in practice considered. The research findings are then used to enhance better practice.  Nurses apply nursing theories in their day to day operations. Mostly, these theories are used by considering a variety of theories for a given situation and selecting the most applicable in a given set of conditions. Ideally, nursing theories provide underpinnings in the nursing practice for the patient under their care. Theories have proven to be beneficial in evoking the critical thinking capabilities, analytical skills and enhancing the ability of the nurses to comprehend a given situation. This reliance on nursing theories has contributed to enhanced patient care, patient outcomes, and improved communication between the nurse and the patient. Research, on the other hand, contributes to new knowledge with regard to the application of nursing theories in practice and offers insights on how this relationship can be improved.

Practice change

It can be argued that the nursing field is a first lane in effecting changes. Most notable of these changes are in the section of health informatics with emphasis on electronic health records. Some examples of practice changes that have been introduced in the institution are the use of GetWell Network and My Chart. With the application of these new models, the concept of patient care has gained a new meaning altogether. They have introduced a model in which nurses are more involved with their patients as active partners with an aim of following a patient-driven model.

The GetWellNetwork has introduced to the system an interactive system of taking care of patients in the hospitals. Through this system, practitioners are able to engage their patients and enlighten them on care planning. This is an effective strategy of ensuring that the patients are more satisfied and also improve on the quality of practice (Drenkard & Wright, 2014). MyChart is another tool that has resulted from research and consideration of nursing theories  to improve the nursing-patient relationship. This tool provide patients with an electronic device fitted with an application that offers support to services through stocking supplies as required. The use of this application makes it possible to view health information, results from the lab, and daily care plans. It also provides a platform through which the patient can exchange information with nurses engaged in their management. The medical records are also secured through the use of this system.


The incorporation of the GetWellNetwork in the nursing practice has led to increased satisfaction among patients and better outcomes. Nurses have been applying this new model in a proactive role which has allowed them to transfer some care intervention to the home-based caregivers. The system has opened up channels through which the nurses are able to relay reminders on medication and appointments to the patients receiving home-based care (Drenkard & Wright, 2014). These systems have contributed to a new practice change to enhance improved efficiency. This has been achieved by promoting a two-way communication. The nurses are able to monitor the progress of their patients and make necessary change to the care plan based on the feedback of the patients.

Case Study

Nursing practice as per Nightingale’s theory

Applying Nightingale’s theory for this case study will prompt the handling of relevant health related issues in a specific manner. This will require the preparation of a priority list which would indicate the order in which issues would be handled based on importance. As per the theory, there is need to first address the issue of aeration. The nurse will tackle this issue by opening windows and making sure the fan is turned on and properly adjusted. Blais & Hayes (2015) indicate that such a move would work to improve the quality of the air which the patient is exposed to and breathes. Karim supports this by indicating that the presence of foul air and unproportion warmth poses a risk to a healthy person (2015). The next problem that the nurse can tackle is related to drainage. The nurse needs to drain or empty the half-filled cans and throw them in a dust bin. Such kind of litter acts a great breeding site of disease causing pathogens (Blais & Hayes, 2015). They will then need to deal with the litter spread out in the house to create an enabling healthy environment. The litter in the house includes partially eaten sandwiches, litter box, soiled diapers, and empty formula bottles. They will need to put the room in order which will include even spreading of beds. Nightingale greatly emphasized on the need to maintain all aspects of cleanliness as a part of nursing practice (Karim, 2015).

Home Visit, Priority, Environment, Relationship, and Application

The nurse making home visit need to emphasize the need of maintaining a clean environment where the patients and her dependents live. By assessing the conditions on the immediate environment, the nurse must have noted Isabel’s inability to maintain a clean environment which poses a great danger. This creates  a need to come up with an action aimed at averting any health crisis that may arise from that. The theory by Nightingale raises the issue that most disease is developed due to poorly maintained environment. The theory proposed the need to have proper ventilation and lighting to ensure the prevention of disease (Blais & Hayes, 2015). A nurse on a home visit may need to apply this theory in her practice as a way of ensuring that the environment in which the patient exists can be considered humane.

One noted importance of home visits other that the follow up is to develop a better relation of nurse-patient relationship between Isabel and the nurse. Bridges (2013)  recommends this  and notes that these visits create emotional impacts with the patients. Maslach & Jackson (2013) indicated that establishing this relationship comes with its challenges due to some levels of uncertainty and ambiguity. The nurse may solve this by choosing a strategy that matches the conditions at hand.

Importance and advancement of Nightingale’s

The theory by Nightingale despite having been established over 200 years still remains relevant and applicable even to date.  One notable reason why the theory still remains relevant is the fact that it touches on simple, basic, and important aspects of health (Drenkard & Wright, 2014). The basic topics that the theory addresses include fresh air, pure water, drainage, cleanliness, and lighting. All these are parameters relevant even to date and used for description of the immediate environment of a patient’s living conditions. The adoption of this theory is still large thus creating a big impact on the nursing practice. The application of advanced ventilation systems has followed the insights of these theories (Wallace & Kahn, 2015).


Bouso, R., Poles, K., & Monteiro, D. A. (2014). Nursing Concepts and Theories. Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da USP.

Blais, K. & Hayes J.S (2015). Professional nursing practice: Concepts and perspectives. Prentice Hall. New Jersey.

Bridges, J., Nicholson, C., Maben, J., Pope, C., Flatley, M., Wilkinson, C., & Tziggili, M. (2013). Capacity for care: meta‐ethnography of acute care nurses’ experiences of the nurse‐patient relationship. Journal of advanced nursing, 69(4), 760-772.

Drenkard, K., & Wright, D. (2014). Person and Family Care . Indianapolis: Sigma ThetaTau International.

Hegge, M. (2013). Nightingale’s Environmental Theory. Nursing science quarterly, 26(3), 211-219.

George, J. B. (1985). Nursing Theories: The Base for Professional Nursing Practice. Nursing research, 34(6), 356.

Karim, H. N. (2015). Clinical Application of Nightingale Theory. International Journal of Innovative Research and Development, 4(11).

Maslach, C., & Jackson, S. E. (2013). A social psychological analysis. Social psychology of health and illness, 227.

Wallace, D. J., & Kahn, J. M. (2015). Florence Nightingale and the Conundrum of Counting ICU Beds*. Critical care medicine, 43(11), 2517-2518.

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