The Importance of Nursing Theory – Care Example

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"The Importance of Nursing Theory" is an engrossing example of a paper on care. Nursing theory, whether stemming from grand, middle-range, or practice theory all have practical applications to the nursing profession in terms of identifying tangible activities in nursing, the relationship of the environment for nursing adaptability, and in helping to understand the inherent or intrinsic dynamics of the nurse practitioner. The nursing theory describes the inter-dependencies of group environments common in the clinical practice field as well as the effective responses most critical or foundational to nursing practice.

Many concepts in nursing theory have been tested against reputable hypotheses in tangible clinical experience or have been derived through years or decades of painstaking appraisals and analyses of existing health care facilities. The Roy Adaptation Model, a grand theory model, is significant in nursing theory for its pragmatic and logical considerations about real-life health environments and the human condition. This paper describes the importance of generalized nursing theory to the nursing profession and, using the Roy Adaptation Model as the appropriate guidance, this paper will describe how this model impacts patient care, the purpose of this particular model, and how this theory would view nursing leadership and education.

The Roy Adaptation Model is one of the most viable models in nursing theory.   The Importance and Validity of Nursing Theory Study Nursing theory provides a great deal of quantifiable and justified assumptions that assist in building an effective model of nursing practice to improve productivity, interpersonal relationship development between the nurse, patient or organizational groups, and can assist in deciding a best practice model taking into consideration environment, biopsychosocial characteristics of the nurse, and patient needs.

Unlike mathematical models that are often used in organizational science that consider proper utilization of distinct tangible resources, nursing theory is sensible and practical, recognizing the complexity of human behavior and various coping strategies that are integrated into a model of practice to understand the dynamics of relationships and actual patient care. Nursing theory, unlike other models, does not limit the scope of human knowledge to equation modeling or consider the role of the nurse practitioner as being autonomous of their emotional states. In a healthy environment where inherent emotional responses are going to surface in practice, and where patient emotional and rationalization capacities create adaptable situations, it would be unrealistic to assume that a health care organization could be structured effectively (or training delivered properly) without recognition of these variables in the cycle of nursing care. For the aforementioned reasons, nursing theory is critical to improving the nursing profession and facilitating more effective care to patients.

It identifies the potential hindrances or barriers to communication or group functioning so as to create a template by which to combat these situations.

Such theoretical modeling also illustrates how one care or leadership function is inter-dependent on another in a health system, identifying redundancies that might occur in practice or opportunities to improve practice responses. Nursing theory, by drawing on real-life case studies or other supporting qualitative research, creates a knowledge base about legitimate, contemporary nursing requirements or human needs to assist in identifying more effective organizational systems or interpersonal relationship development. Examining the complexities of patient needs, as another relevant example through various studies, creates testable hypotheses about how to handle various emotional constructs in patients to deliver better care.

Nursing theory can identify certain socio-demographics or ethnographic knowledge about patient personalities in identified cultural groups so that different strategies can be applied by an adaptable nurse in similar patient care scenarios.   The Relevance of the Roy Adaptation Model The Roy Adaptation Model, derived from comprehensive knowledge of the human experience and clinical practice, takes into consideration nurse attributes, the environment, and potential effectors that either stimulate productive nursing care or hinder its success. It is one of the most viable models as it is considerate of human personality constructs and their inter-dependencies in establishing a system of proper nursing care.

This particular model was selected as it consists of a series of legitimized, research-supported variables in nursing practice required for effective nursing practice. The Roy Adaptation Model illustrates nursing practice as a cyclical process of learning and practice, a form of continuous learning and understanding, which is highly relevant to adaptable health care environments. This theory was the most relevant choice as it is the most convenient model for recognizing the complexities of nursing attitude and behavior and the stimulus that influences nursing response toward the patient and toward the self during nursing care. This theory suggests that there are certain control variables associated directly with the nurse practitioner and their biopsychosocial characteristics related to self-concept, self-efficacy as it pertains to role function, and biological or psychological coping mechanisms that are inherent to nurses which directly affect positive or negative outputs in patient care.

With the addition of a feedback system, the Roy Adaptation Model illustrates how learning, both intrinsic and extrinsic, can influence future nursing practice for recurring adaptability to dynamic environments with a great deal of change. Unlike theories stemming from middle-range nursing theory, the Roy Adaptation Model does not limit learning and adaptability to a single variety of practice, thus this model gives a more generalized view of the relationship between nurses and the organizational environment.

Practice theories often have a narrow view of the realities of nursing practice, providing only a singular concept or proposition that is operationalized, thus limiting knowledge regarding the potential for multiple stimuli or psycho-social characteristics of nurses being influencers on nursing practice.

The notion of the metaparadigm is that knowledge is behind on establishing a best practice for nursing with a need for more concrete understandings of best practice or organization. The Roy Adaptation model fits the nursing metaparadigm as it illustrates learning on a cyclical curve, taking into consideration tangibles and intangibles in nursing, to fill gaps in practice knowledge and relationship knowledge to facilitate better practice outputs.   A Practical Application of the Model The Roy Adaptation Model would view leadership as being more transformational or inter-linked with human resources to recognize the imperatives in patient care created by nursing attitude, values, biological responses to stimuli, or emotional constructs.

Rogers and Keller (2009) describe proposed methods of increasing physical activity with older, sedentary adults. One strategy is developing a sense of self-efficacy with the patient, which would require adaptive emotional reasoning by the nurse and the ability to inspire followership through leading strategies. The model would recognize self-concept and inter-dependence as variables in patient care, both within the nurse and the patient.

Feedback from the patient would influence future adaptive responses to determine whether a leadership stance or strategy has gained success in promoting more physical activity. The Roy Adaptation Model would further view education as a continuous cycle and would emphasize the importance of teaching qualitative methods to students. A 1989 interview conducted with the founder of the theory, Sister Callista Roy, indicated the presence of what is referred to as “ discreet phenomena” and many philosophical issues involved in nursing practice (Fawcett, 2002, p. 310). This model would view education in terms of establishing best practice knowledge as requiring observation, interviews, or questionnaires to gain acquaintance with the multi-faceted aspects of nursing behavior, values, and coping strategies to fully understand how to achieve effective patient care outcomes.

In personal experience, the complex dynamics of emotional intelligence when working in dynamic groups would require a closer, subjective analysis of emotional capacity to understand how to improve relationships. Conclusion The Roy Adaptation model and, in general, the study of nursing theory is critical to advancing nursing effectiveness and understanding how to be adaptable in environments with a great deal of change or vibrancy.

The identified model is the most feasible theory for understanding inter-dependent work systems in the health care environment and how certain variables stimulate or hinder nursing attitude and patient care strategies. It is clear that nursing theory and, specifically, the Roy Adaptation Model recognize more than simply a single constructor practice of nursing, thus allowing researchers and practicing nurses to consider multiple patient care strategies and, in the process, understand the self.


Fawcett, Jacqueline. (2002). The Nurse Theorists: 21st Century Updates – Callista Roy, Nursing Science Quarterly, 15(4), pp.308-310.

Rogers, Carol & Keller, Colleen. (2009). Roy’s Adaptation Model to Promote Physical Activity among Sedentary Older Adults, Geriatric Nursing, 30(2), pp.21-26.

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