Nursing Theories


Nursing is an important aspect of healthcare provision. It is, however, imperative understanding that the nursing process entails problem-solving and thus the necessitating provision of rules and guidelines essential in nursing practice. Nursing theories have proved to be critical aspects of nursing practice through the provision of thinking and decision-making platform. The nursing theories help define the role of nurses in the provision of healthcare to patients. The nursing theory describes how nurses and patients can produce healing and good health, by using models to explain how beliefs and aspects of health are related (Masters, 2012). The theory is used to explain and analyze what nurses do as well as facilitate communication between nurses and guide research and education. The nursing theory encompasses the foundations of nursing practice past and present and provides direction for how nursing should develop in the future. In essence, the nursing theory gives guidelines to the patient-nurse relationship. It is also wise noting that there are three major types of nursing theory that include; grand theory, middle range theory and nursing practice theory all of which provides insights to nurses on how to improve  patient care (Smith, Turkel & Wolf, 2013).

Nursing practitioners have the responsibility of solving patients’ problems through fulfilling their needs. Nursing practice theory will be an imperative theory that will help us understand the concept of the nursing theory. Practice theory is common among nurses and involves various steps. Nursing practice approach requires that one must identify and describe an explanation, identify and describe possible phenomenon, predict the occurrence and control or eliminate the caus (George, 2011). It is, however, prudent noting that nursing practice theory is interrelated to middle range theory. In essence, nursing practice theory tries to give an explanation towards particular nursing situations.

Description of the problem

As aforementioned, the clients’ health needs are classified as problems that may be overt as an apparent condition, or covert as a hidden or concealed one.  An effective nursing practice is the one that will manage to solve the client’s needs amicably. For this to happen, it is expected that nurses will be able to identify and solve both overt and covert nursing problems. Problem identification and problem solving will be facilitated by nursing theories that offer guidelines to the nursing practice. Nevertheless, the nursing practice has endless problems that make it difficult to provide the required levels of patient care (Smith, Turkel & Wolf, 2013). Despite these challenges, practitioners in the nursing field must embrace necessary theory to meet the expectations of the society.

For instance, a nursing unit has experienced rapid turnover of professional staff including several nurse managers. The escalating problem has resulted in the unit appointing a new nurse manager from outside the nursing unit. The rapid staff turnover is a detrimental aspect that is likely to lead to the unit failing to provide expected levels of patient care. This comprises a health leadership crisis that in the long run may be detrimental to the provision of the required health care. It is expected that the nursing unit must be proactive in dealing with his problem and ensure that patient care at the unit meets international standards (Masters, 2012). It is imperative for the unit leadership to understand the cause of the high turnover and take corrective measures to deal with the issue.

With such high rate of staff turnover, families may be afraid of leaving their loved ones in this nursing unit. Increased staff turnover may taint the image of the unit thus making it difficult for the facility attracting highly qualified personnel.  This is because most of the aspiring nurses may fear the lack of job security and sustainability experienced in the health unit (Meleis, 2011).  With this in mind, there are also high chances that the nursing unit will be in a risk of hiring less competent nursing staff thus putting patients’ safety at stake. If the unit fails to recruit less skilled nurses, there are chances that the unit will suffer from understaffing consequently endangering patients served in the unit. Hiring a nurse manager from without the nursing unit is also a great risk.  All these negative aspects create a bad image for the nursing unit and make it difficult to fulfill the objectives of the unit.

Application of nursing practice theory in problem-solving

As earlier mentioned, nursing theories are used to solve problems and ensure that optimum patient safety is guaranteed. Nurse staffing remains a critical area in ensuring that hospitalized patients are safe. The correct staffing pattern is always a leadership headache in any nursing unit. From our analysis, it is evident that the current rate of staff turnover in this organization is a significant risk to patients’ safety. It is, therefore, prudent for the leadership of the health unit to ensure that corrective measures are adequately taken to deal with this issue decisively (George, 2011). Nursing theories provide the basis upon which the nursing fraternity offers a solution to patients’ problems.  In this case, the nursing practice theory is expected to provide a solution to the problem of the high staff turnover experienced in the nursing unit.

The theory has the responsibility of assisting the nurses in describing, explaining and predicting everyday experiences. It is prudent to use the basis of the theory in the rationale for collecting reliable and valid data about the health status within the organization. This will form the basis for decision making and offer to salute to the issues at hand.

The nursing community has the responsibility of ensuring that hospitalized patients are accorded the utmost health care. Nevertheless, the high rate of staff turnover is threatening this objective, and the leadership of the health unit must be proactive in dealing with this situation. As aforementioned, practice theory is the most appropriate theory since it offers a solution to situational problems.  The leadership of the nursing unit must adopt the approach to determining the measure of the quality nursing care provided in the unit. Staffing pattern is the major challenge experienced in the nursing unit (Smith, Turkel & Wolf, 2013). The leadership of the unit must come up with a strategy that will help solve the staffing crisis at the organization.

Though determining the correct staffing pattern may be easy, maintaining the required pattern may be quite difficult. The leadership of the unit must carry out intensive research to understand the cause of the high rate of staff turnover. The administration of the nursing unit must take stock from existing nurses in their areas of dissatisfaction. Most cases of the staff turnover areas result of dissatisfaction among the workers and the leadership must act on such issues. Enhanced communication between the employees and the management of the unit will be critical in determining the cause of discontent among the nurses (Masters, 2012). This will help the management of the nursing unit to offer a particular care plan individualized for each patient.  Nurses have the obligation of providing health care to hospitalized patients, and the correct nurse-patient ratio is critical to achieving the desired levels of patient care.

The nurses at the nursing unit must also be aware of what is expected of them in the course of their duties. In essence, the role of nurses is to discover and meet the patient’s immediate needs. It is the objective of nurses in any set up to ensure that well-being of patients is guaranteed. With this in mind, the nurses must have the plight of patients at heart and act selfless to the benefit of the patients. It is, therefore, prudent for the management to instill self-discipline in the staff. This will be realized through improved communication between the leadership and nursing fraternity in the nursing unit.

Also, the nurses have a role to play in ensuring the problem of high staff turnover becomes a thing of the past. According to Orlando’s theory, patient’s health is paramount and is defined as the well-being achieved when their needs are met in a sense of comfort. This comfort is from the work of nurses, and it is, therefore, prudent for nurses to ensure that patient’s wellness is guaranteed. The nurse must work tirelessly to ensure that they maintain a conducive patient-nurse relationship. With such kind of relationship, the nurses can swiftly identify distress and other patient needs and act responsibly (George, 2011). Nurses with a good relationship with patients and value their wellness may not act in ways that jeopardize patients.

A good interpersonal relationship between patients and nurses is critical to fulfilling fundamental nursing objectives. Situational patients’ analysis and follow up is of paramount importance and nurses must be conversant with thus ensuring stability in staffing patterns. Orlando theory contributes significantly to the development of a patient-nurse relationship that thrives on open communication (Meleis, 2011). The management of the organization should, therefore, ensure that it has a nurse educator with the responsibility of educating nurses on their roles.  This will help the nurses understand the ethical and legal aspects that must be fulfilled in their service delivery.


To sum it up, nursing theories are necessary tools that offer guidelines to the nursing practice. These guidelines provide the nursing practitioners a formal and a uniform way through which they base their service delivery. All the roles and issues related to nursing practice are all enshrined in the nursing theories. It is, however, imperative for the nurses to ensure that they are conversant with the theories and their applications in dealing with their daily problems. It is wise understanding that the nurses have the obligation of meeting the client’s needs and offer a solution to their health issues. For instance, the nursing practice theory is an important approach that is highly applicable to solving daily challenges. The health unit experiencing high staff turnover can adopt this theory to deal with this problem. In conclusion, it is vital for the practicing nurses to learn how to manage health issues as well as operational constraints experienced in their duties (Masters, 2012). The nursing practice is evolving every day, and thus it is imperative that the nurses advance their profession by learning new aspects in the nursing practice.



George, J. (2011). Nursing theories. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Education.

Masters, K. (2012). Nursing theories. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Meleis, A. (2011). Theoretical nursing. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Smith, M., Turkel, M., & Wolf, Z. (2013). Caring in nursing classics. New York, NY: Springer Pub.

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