Application of Nursing Theory to Practice

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Application of Nursing Theory to Practice

Becoming a practising nurse is not a walk in the park. During the course, students are subjected to homework, assignments and research work which are all theory-based. Practical is also part of the institution’s program. Application of Nursing Theory to Practice:

Nursing students are subjected to numerous volumes or theories that form the nursing practice’s important basis.

Theories are used for references and case studies by the nurses. However, when nurses start practising, they rarely return to the books to confirm the case outcomes.

Most of these applications are done by nurses with rough knowledge. 

Not all theories have been integrated into practice by the nurses in real-life hospitals.

Let us now discuss these theories, their application and their importance.

Introduction to nursing theories

The first question to ask as a student is what are these theories, why they should be studied, and what are their importance.

What are nursing theories?

Well, this question is valid in all capacities. Nursing theories are a set of well-organized, researched concepts that explain principles in the nursing field. They further enlighten the scope of nursing and its practice.

With the definition of nursing, let us now understand the scope of nursing theories. The theories are divided into major parts or major concepts as below:

  1. Person/the patient

In nursing theories, the aspect of the person represents the patient, who is the client. The concept is also concerned with the caregivers in the patient’s life.

  1. Environment/ the hospital

The concept of environment is the setting of the hospital or the patient’s surroundings. These concepts believe that altering an environment can alleviate a patient’s condition.

  1. Nursing/ the practice

The meta paradigm of nursing concerns the relationship between the patient and the nurse. The nurse is supposed to dispense their skills professionally.

  1. Health/personal well being

This is concerned with the general well-being of a patient: socially, spiritually, emotionally and physically to ensure the quick well-being of a patient.

The above major parts are the concepts covered by most theorists.  Nursing students or nurses in-service are to determine which concepts relate to a particular theory.

Below are the major nursing theories that must be studied diligently by all nursing students and nurses in service.

  1. Grand Nursing Theories

These theories are not very much detailed though they are very complex. They provide THE conceptual frameworks for the nurses. It also addresses the behaviours of the nurses within the environment. These can be applied in various setups.

  1. Middle-Range Nursing Theories

Middle Range theories are more details and specific, unlike the Grant Nursing theories.  The theory provides more details on similar theories or disciplines that are interrelated.  Middle-range theories can be traced because they have been tried and tested over the years.

  1. Practice-Level Nursing Theories

The Practice level nursing theories are more detailed with specific situations than the Middle range theories. The theory could be in both the grand and middle range theories, but at the practice level, the details are more specific to the nurses for proper intervention.

What is the importance of nursing theories?

Theories are significant to nursing because they offer the backbone to apply concepts. They are the reference point for nurses in caring for patients.

  • Nurses use theories to make critical decisions.

While in the environment per the data paradigm, nurses apply the theories from time to time while attending to the patients. Imogene King‘s theory of Goal attainment helps nurses to understand the important role they play in the patient’s environment as they work towards ensuring good health.

  • Theories enable nurses to dispense quality healthcare services to the patients who are their clients.

One of the major concepts of the theories is the aspect of the person who is the patient.

  • Offers environmental regulations

Theories come in handy for the nurses in the protection of their well-being even as they dispense their nursing skills to the clients within a hospital environment.

  • The offering of guidance in the dispensation

The theories offer adequate guidance and reference to all basic decision-making before administering a particular treatment. Particular and specific procedures are referred to the theories by nurses

  • Theories draw professional boundaries and draw the line for the auctioneers. They stay within codes and ethics within the profession
  • Nurses have evidence-based practice because of the theories that have been researched over the years

Who uses this application of nursing theory to practice?

The researchers use these theories as references to further their research, the students use the m to perfect their knowledge before being deployed to the real environment and the practising nurses for references and to make informed decisions.

Nursing theories and theorists

Theorists, after thorough research, came up with several facts to back the four major nursing concepts. Their theories are evidence-based and are being applied even today by practising nurses. Below are some theorists and the concepts they argued:

  1. Ida Jean Orlando – Theory of nursing process

Ida Jean based her theory of the Nursing Process on the fact that nurses must be connected to the patient to be able to dispense treatment appropriately. This ensures the nurse is focused on the patient and the recovery process. Nurses should be concerned with the verbal and non-verbal communication of the patient.

  1. Dorothy Johnson – The System model theory

On the system model theory, Dorothy Johnson built her case on maintaining system stability. The individual stability amidst daily stressors in the environment. She noted that the instabilities caused problems for nurses.

  1. Madeleine Leininger – Theory of transcultural nursing

This theory bases its concern on the fact that caring for patients is universal and transcultural.  The major concepts in this theory are cultural values, cultural differences and care.

  1. Dorothea Orem: Self-Care Deficit Theory

Dorothy Orem, on the other hand, in her self-care theory, felt that nurses have an obligation to take care of the patients, help the patients take of themselves and help them learn how to do it. These she based on her three theories of self-care, self-care deficit and theory of the nursing system.

  1. Jean Watson – Theory of Philosophy and Caring Model

Jean Watson argued that caring is universal in her philosophy and caring model. She further added that this could be effective if it comes from the point of self with consideration of human nature.

  1. Imogene King – Theory of Goal Attainment

Imogene King believed that all the transactions in a particular environment were fashioned towards attaining a goal.

  1. Hildegard Peplau – Theory of Interpersonal Relations

Hildegard believed that nurses’ understanding of their own interpersonal traits would help them understand their patients.

She further broke down the phases of the nurse-patient relationship into the orientation stage, identification, exploitation and resolution phase. She believed that the nurse’s role in the relationship is: a stranger, a leader, a counsellor to the patient and a resource person to both the client and the caregivers. She believed the interpersonal process was a stress reliever for the patient and the nurse.

  1. Faye Abdellah – 21 Nursing Problems Theory

Faye, in his theory, presented that the problems presented by the patient determine nursing care.

  1. Myra Estrin Levine – The theory of Conservation Model of Nursing

In her submission, Marya Levine proposed using conversation by nurses. According to her, this boosted the patient’s energy levels, increased their personal integrity, and boosted their social and structural integrity.

Below are some of the renowned theorists of nursing practice:

  1. Martha Rogers – Theory of Science of Unitary Human Beings
  2. Nola Pendeen -Theory of Health Promotion Model
  3. Ida Jean Orlando – The theory of Deliberative Nursing Process
  4. Katharine Kolcaba – Comfort Theory
  5. Sister Calista Roy – Adaptation theory
  6. Betty Neuman – Theory of System model
  7. Sister Callista Roy – Theory Adaptation Model of Nursing


Nursing theories are the backbone of nursing practice. They offer reference and evidence-based decision-making. Nurses deploy all the theories from time to sometimes without knowing. The framework provided by the theories provides guidance, goals for nurses and the scope of operation.

Theories are a must-know for all nurses who want to practice in a real environment. Do you have a nursing application homework you need to attend to? Well, we have a team who will render you authentic nursing homework papers.