Application of Nursing Theory to Practice

Nursing theoriesIntroduction and the Practice Problem: Part 1 of Applying Theory to a Real-World Situation

Section 1: Introduction

In the present era, the area of nursing is always growing in order to address the new challenges that arise in every environment. Numerous hospitals have incorporated the nursing code of ethics and nursing theories into their daily operations, and as a result, they have achieved positive outcomes. There have been a number of nursing theories developed over the years that have made a significant impact to the nursing profession. The importance of nursing theory in nursing practice cannot be overstated because it provides a strong framework to define and support nursing practice, improves the quality of patient care, and provides solutions to problems that arise in nursing practices. Nursing theory has a significant impact on patient care and should not be overlooked (Parse, 1995). The theory of human caring developed by Jean Watson provides a solid foundation for recognizing the importance of learning and applying nursing concepts in order to resolve the issues that arise on a daily basis in the workplace. This section will go into greater detail on how nursing theories influence nurse staffing in hospitals.
Problem Solving in Practice and Its Importance
According to a large body of nursing literature, nurse staffing has been a persistent concern for most hospitals for many years (Alligood and Tomey, 2006). Healthcare officials have acknowledged that the shortage of nurses and doctors is a persistent problem that has an impact on the safety of patients and nurses. Staffing in the acute care sector is a difficult topic for many nurse leaders, clinical nurses, and educators working in the field of nursing. Hospitals with insufficient or low nurse staffing levels have inferior patient outcomes, resulting in a reduction in the overall quality of treatment. Patients' safety is jeopardized by a reduction in nursing staff, which leads to an increase in medication errors, patient falls, longer hospital stays, and a higher rate of patient mortality.


Despite the fact that the problem is hurting nursing professionals, traditional means of fixing the problem, such as retention strategies and financially focused recruitment, have not been successful in completely addressing the problem.
Nonetheless, applying nursing theories has brought valuable insights into how nurses can work diligently to improve the quality of care they provide to patients. Managers and hospital administrators are aware of the need to improve the quality of care while also raising the morale of nurses. Indeed, when nurses are driven to do their duties, they can be extremely valuable resources in the effort to improve the overall well-being of their patients.
Nurses in today's culture encounter numerous problems as they attempt to strike a balance between their personal lives and their professional lives. The use of Watson's theory has helped healthcare leaders understand that nurses need be motivated by a variety of incentives in order to perform their tasks efficiently. It provides a solid foundation for hospitals to recognize that human caring is a critical part of nursing that promotes quality care and helps to resolve staffing concerns. Everyone working in a clinical setting must recognize that a human being is a valuable being who deserves to be nurtured, assisted, supported, cared for, and appreciated if the problem of nurse staffing is to be fully addressed. According to this notion, a caring environment is one that promotes the growth of an individual's well-being while also allowing the healthcare practitioner to achieve his or her professional goals (McEwen and Wills, 2011, p. 1).
Because the theory of human care is applied in the hospital setting, nurse managers and leaders recognize the importance of motivating nurses to carry out their responsibilities successfully with the goal of encouraging high-quality care delivery in their facilities. The implementation of Watson's theory has been utilized to improve nursing practice and offer nurses with the most fulfilling aspects of their jobs that contribute to the improvement of overall patient care and satisfaction.
The use of theories in nursing is logical in the sense that it provides solutions to immediate problems that arise in the health-care industry (Parker, 2006).


M. R. Alligood and A. M. Tomey are co-authors of the paper (2006). 3rd edition of Nursing Theory: Its Utilization and Application. Mosby Elsevier, St. Louis, Missouri.
McEwen and Wills, E. M. McEwen and E. M. Wills (2011). Nursing has a theoretical foundation (32nd ed.). Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Parker, M. E., et al (2006). Nursing theories and nursing practice are two sides of the same coin (2nd ed.). F. A. Davis Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
R. R. Parse, R. R. Parse (1995). Awakenings: The human becoming a theoretical construct in both practice and research The National League for Nursing Press is located in New York, New York.

Bibliography of the Theorists

Jean Watson is a well-known nurse theorist who has had a profound impact on the globe by her expertise and contribution of human compassion to the profession. Watson was born on June 10, 1940, and is a well-known scholar as well as the founder of the Watson Caring Science Institute. As a non-profit organization, the institution is dedicated to advancing understanding of human caring practices and theories in the healthcare and social service sectors, as well as to expanding such insights. Watson's six honorary doctorates, which have had a profound impact on the world, have been recognized by modern society. The theorist has had the honor of teaching nurses and other healthcare professionals from all around the world about the idea of human caring during his travels. Watson graduated from Lewis Gale School in 1961 and continued her education at Colorado University, where she received her bachelor's degree in 1963.

Application of Theory to Practice 5

She went on to obtain her M.S. in 1966 and her PhD in education and counseling psychology in 1973, both from the University of California, Los Angeles.
It has been demonstrated that this idea is applicable in the present era, as the corpus of nursing knowledge has become more recognized as a separate caring science and profession that is capable of transforming the well-being of human beings. It is essential that the aspect of human caring rules the body of nursing in the sense that this activity has enhanced a significant impact in ensuring that all patients are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of where they are coming from. Dr. Watson's theory is comprised of three primary components that have been applied in the field of nursing. Caring factors, transpersonal caring interactions, and caring moments are some of the variables that contribute to caring. Nurses have been urged to engage in these activities at all costs, regardless of the difficulties that may arise in the process. The practice of nursing would be altered if this theory were to be adopted, in the sense that every human being desires to be cared for and loved.
Theory's propositions and concepts are referred to as
Accordion to this view, human beings are capable of showing compassion for other human beings.
The fulfillment of human needs, according to this theorist, is achieved through the provision of human caring in the nursing profession. When displayed at healthcare institutions, the aspect of human caring has been shown to improve the health of people as well as the growth of families. A caring atmosphere is essential because it allows individuals to make the best decisions for themselves and others around them, therefore improving their own lives and the lives of those around them. In summary, the key assumption of this theory is that interpersonal interaction is critical in improving the overall quality of care, and that this reflects on the inherent human nature of providing and expressing care in one's fellow human.
One way in which the theorist describes her theory is through the use of ten significant factors that promote healing, health, and completeness in human beings. The practice of love and kindness toward others is one of the 10 criteria.

Applicability of Theory to Practice to self and other people,

Instilling faith and encouraging others, nurturing individuals' beliefs so that they have confidence in life, fostering trusting and helping relationships, taking every opportunity as an opportunity to grow, supporting individual needs, and developing creative solutions that improve patients' well-being are all examples of application of theory to practice. Others include providing a healthy environment that addresses the sociological, spiritual, and physical needs of the patients, performing acts of healing and catering to human needs, and remaining open to accepting any and all challenges that may arise in the healthcare field. The ten factors address the importance of having self-respect and respect for others in positions of authority. Interpersonal relationship interventions require an understanding of theoretical foundations. This offers a strong foundation on which healthcare practitioners or nurses may stand since they recognize the value of creating great relationships with both their colleagues and patients as a whole. According to the theory, the nursing profession should embrace the concepts of caring, forgiveness, kindness, and compassion in their daily nursing practice (Meleis, 2007).
Theoretical Concepts Implemented in Practice
When describing the importance of having a compassionate approach in nursing leadership, the notion has been applied. In particular, it provides enough insights and a solid foundation for understanding how human care establishes a solid platform for improving quality management. Leaders can use this idea to better understand and encourage nurses in order to attain a guided or structured vision of patient-centered care delivery. As previously stated, encouraging people within an organization is critical in order to improve customer care services and hence increase revenue. As a result, motivating nurses contributes to the healing and wholeness of patients. In order to have ethical and moral standards or principles that address the challenges that arise in the administration and delivery of patient care, nurse managers need to have a good understanding of nursing theory (McEwen and Wills, 2011).

When it comes to providing patient care, nurse staffing is a critical consideration that hospitals cannot overlook (McEwen and Wills, 2011). Although many hospitals spend a lot of resources managing the workflow and optimizing staff hours, much needs to done about caring of nurses. When a hospital embrace the aspect of caring for its staff, then this will increase nurse retention, customers or else patients’ satisfaction, and improve the entire delivery of care. Therefore, understanding the concept of human caring is crucial as it lays a strong ground where nurses are motivated to perform their tasks. It also lays a strong path for nurses to exercise their duties to improve the well-being of patients.
Practice Change with the Theory Implementation
A perfect example of how human caring theory can enhance change can be outline in solving the issue of nurse staffing. According to Brown (2005), nursing leaders can address this issue by implementing the basic concepts of the theory. For instance, nurse managers can support nurses to engage in human or else self-care practices and activities that promote love, kindness, and respect of self and others. Nurse leaders can also develop and implement health policies that provide healing process, support team work, allows nurses to rest, and help nurses to learn from one another. In so doing, this would demonstrate how utilizing this theory would enhance a significant contribution in the work environment and reduce the issue of nurse staffing. This theory allows nurse leaders to incorporate human caring in depth and ensure that nurses are working hard to improve the well-being of patients. The impact and connection between nurses’ leaders, nurses and patients are understood by understanding Ken Wilbur’s integrated theory (Hamric, Spross and Hanson, 2009).



Brown, S. J. (2005). Direct clinical practice. In A.B. Hamric, J.A. Spross, C. M. Hanson (Eds) Advanced practice nursing: An integrative approach, (3rd ed.). (pp. 143-185). St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier.
Hamric, A. B., Spross, J. A., and Hanson, C. M. (2009). Advanced practice nursing: An integrative approach (4th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier.
McEwen, M., and Wills, E. (2011). Theoretical basis for nursing (3nd ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins.
Meleis, A. F. (2007). Theoretical nursing: Development and progress (4th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins.

Section 3

Borrowed Theorist Biography

Over the years, Wilbur’s theory has been known to support the input of human caring theory by Jean Watson. Born in 1949 in Oklahoma City, Ken Wilber is the most celebrated and influential American Philosopher of the modern age. Wilber’s journey to discussing about human caring has been fascinating. Wilber enrolled at Duke University in 1967 and he became inspired to influence the world with his teachings. After few years, Wilber enrolled in the Nebraska University Lincoln where he pursued a degree in biology and chemist and later a master degree in biochemistry. While in school, Wilber became interested in western and eastern philosophy and psychology and he established the need to elaborate about consciousness through which he later used this concept to incorporate integrated theory. In 2000, Wilbur established the


Integral Institute, whose aim was to educate many people about self-awareness. Wilbur believed that human beings have the responsibility of knowing who they are and further encouraged his audience to care for self and others. Indeed, the theorist support the theory of human caring various books such as “Caring Science as sacred science” and the Philosophy and science of human caring” (McEwen and Wills, 2011).
Theory Applied Practically
Integral theory has had a superb reputation of providing insights about western and eastern understanding of the consciousness. The theory has been applied to politics, art, business, medicine, ecology, and spirituality. Through this theory, researchers have established applications of coaching, leadership, and development. In leadership aspect, the theory provides insights of leadership theories and further help people to apply them in different perspectives.
The model described by the theorist discusses four models; one that examines the self, collective aspects, internal, and external aspects. Understanding the four quadrant models creates a strong platform to enhance an environment that cares for people. Integral theory has also been applied by instructors at colleges when leading students and enhancing an environment that facilitates smooth learning experience.
Practice Change with the Theory Implementation
Nursing practice would change by incorporating this theory in the sense that, it creates insights on the importance of having a strong identity. Through this theory, nurses are encouraged to know who they are and further work hard to enhance the well being of others.
Indeed, when an individual knows who they are in terms of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats then they are in a better position to do activities that enhance the well


being of people. In the nursing field, it helps nurses to avoid tasks that would deteriorate the well being of patients. In addition, this theory is appropriate in solving the root issues of staffing. For instance, by using the quadrant model used by Wilbur namely the self, collective aspects, internal, and external aspects, nurse leaders can understand the importance of making decisions that improves the well-being of staff and patients. Having a clear understanding of self may be vital for leaders in making the decisions that eradicate the issue of nurse staffing. Understanding how to motivate nurses to perform their tasks effectively would be vital in eradicating the issue of staffing and improving patients’ health (Dreyfusn and Dreyfus, l986).

Potential Challenges
It is vital to note that, the change does not rely on the most common methods of retention and recruitment, rather requires the hospital and its management is to have adequate knowledge on how enact the change required. Thus, applying this theory may be costly especially when creating awareness to the employees on how to improve their services to patients. Educating and training employees on the aspect of caring demand a lot of resources. (Alligood and Tomey, 2006).
Nurse staffing has been a common challenge faced in most healthcare institutions. Over the years, this issue has been address through various methods such as additional pay incentives, and recruitment bonuses. Despite the initiative made to address the issue, the truth of the matter is that these methods have not fully addressed the root cause of the issue. With this in mind, applying Integral and human caring theory promotes a caring environment. By applying


Watson’s theory, healthcare leaders understand the importance of having rewards in the workplace. This theory creates the need to motivate competent and potential employees in the organization. Despite the benefits that emerge from applying this theory, the truth of the matter is that it requires adequate training to be effective in the workplace. An organization must invest on giving rewards to their employees to motivate their effort.


Alligood, M. R., and Tomey, A. M. (2006). Nursing theory: Utilization and Application (3rd ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier.
Dreyfus, H. L., and Dreyfus, S. E. (l986). Mind over machine: The power of human intuition and expertise in the era of the computer. New York: Free Press.
McEwen, M., and Wills, E. (2011). Theoretical basis for nursing, 3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins.

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