The Application of Florence Nightingales Theory in Nursing Practice – Care Example

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"The Application of Florence Nightingale’ s Theory in Nursing Practice" is an outstanding example of a paper on care. Professional practice is guided by the research. This kind of research is based on theories regarding practice. The theories, on the other hand, arise from common practices and models with specific concepts and principles related to practice. In this same way, nursing theories arise from the practice and are meant to guide future practice in an evidence-based fashion. From the time of Florence Nightingale, theories have been developed to guide nursing practice, management, and leadership.

It is based on the original theories that new concepts and ideas are developed. This paper describes an interview with a nursing manager and leader on the application of a specific nursing theory in practice. My interviewee is a director of nursing services at a nursing home in the city. The director is an advocate of Florence Nightingale's theory of patient environment modification for healthcare. With this theory, the director has great confidence that nurses can provide the best healthcare possible by just mere manipulation of the patient’ s environment.

According to him, a patient needs more than the medical and nursing procedures, he or she requires the best possible environment for healing and that the natural process of healing must be allowed to take place. Florence Nightingale’ s theory advocates manipulation of the patient's environment. The original version of the theory described healing as a natural process that should happen given the best environment. This meant that the work of a nurse was to manipulate the environment by providing lighting, fresh air, variety, and colors among other enhancement (Marrs & Lowry, 2006). This manipulation was presumed to significantly improve health by allowing nature to act on the patient.

Currently, this theory is significantly tied to basic nursing roles. As a patient’ s advocate, the nurse must ensure that the patient’ s environment is not tampered with and it is the best for recovery and healing. This should be taught to the patient and to other nurses. In the nursing home, team leaders are given the responsibility to educate the rest of the players on the importance of the environment for the patient. To ensure a positive environment, the nurse has the role of the care manager and provider.

He or she is responsible for environmental management to ensure that tasks are allocated and the patient’ s hygiene maintained. Besides, attending to the patient’ s needs directly is a nursing role. This, according to the director is the sole responsibility of the nurse in the institution regardless of their position in the caregiving. The nursing process is based on nursing theory. In this case, the identification of the patient’ s environmental faults guides the assessment of the problems facing the patient and hence coming up with a plan for care (Alligood, 2011).

In a similar way, other theories from different disciplines such as the Maslow hierarchy of human needs help in creating priorities for the care plan. In this hierarchy of needs, physiological and the most life-supporting problems are first addressed with a focus on more general environmental and social issues. The theories, therefore, help in addressing actual and potential health and related problems. In addition, the interdisciplinary sharing of theories also helps in making priorities (Marrs & Lowry, 2006). Theories are important in any profession.

This is because besides contributing to a body of knowledge required for a profession, theories guide practice. They ensure that every action can be easily documented and a concise and monitored process of care is followed. In addition, theories transform the professional organization and assumption allowing every practice and procedure to be guided by evidence of success (Meyer & O’ Brien-Pallas, 2010). This significantly guides the nurses’ practice and gives the profession a basis on which future procedures may be based. Moreover, in the case of Nightingale’ s theory, a single model may eventually become the foundation of a practice on which other theories and models are built for the guidance of the professional practice.


Alligood, M. R. (2011). Nursing theory-guided research. Nursing Science Quarterly, 24, 195–196. DOI:10.1177/0894318411409427

Marrs, J.-A., & Lowry, L. W. (2006). Nursing theory and practice: connecting the dots. Nursing Science Quarterly, 19, 44–50. DOI:10.1177/0894318405283547

Meyer, R. M., & O’Brien-Pallas, L. L. (2010). Nursing Services Delivery Theory: An open system approach. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66, 2828–2838. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2010.05449.x

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