I know that this is not going to be a popular sentiment, but it is what it is, an unpopular but a legitimate gripe of mine. Please, bear with me.
One salient oddity that I've noticed while taking an introduction to nursing class is the nursing academia's desire to align itself with socialpsych./psychology, which baffles me to no end. If you've majored in any known social science discipline (e.g. sociology, psychology, economics, etc.) and have gotten a degree after writing papers coming out of your arse, singing the same old tune in different keys, then you know this already; these disciplines' aim and pursuit have been gearing heavily toward integrating scientific empiricism and math to add credibility and garner academic clout. They even added 'science' to their moniker because science really does matter, in every way conceivable.
To effect a measurable change for Nursing to gain greater respect and legitimacy as a challenging academic discipline is to integrate more science; some schools
are already headed that way. The prospective nurses already enter the field of nursing because they want to help others. And, that sort of personality trait will not be affected whether there is more theory added or not. Furthermore, go ahead and examine the curriculum of advanced nursing degrees, be it FNP or CRNA. They all end up taking the undergrad science core classes that are requisite to pre-medical or pre-pharmacy programs. Why do you think that is the case?
Nurses are, indeed, a part of the medical team. Nurses are not there merely to be caring and fluffy, solely. For me, medication errors and not knowing the pathophysiological pathways bear more serious implications for deleterious patient care than not possessing excellent bedside manners. Being a caring human being is not a negligible requisite, but the "caring" slogan has been abused to ad nauseum in nursing. I want to be a competent, clinically sound nurse who aid in the healing and coping process for the patients. In the mean time, I want to impart an impression of a nurse who is a knowledgeable professional and not be perceived as someone who posses surface-skimming knowledge about human health and pathology. Caring should remain an undercurrent trait of human decency for both the physicians and nurses, not a central theme that drives our discipline away from what should be added to achieving psychological well-being for the patients.
There is nothing wrong with nurses being medically knowledgeable and being able to think "like a physician" or a logical clinician. We already have those nurses around us. As nurses advance, they end up purchasing more medical references than nursing theory books. I sympathize that the nursing as a burgeoning academic discipline would like to align itself with something. I understand the assertion of the importance of nursing theories, but the academic discipline of psychology already exists and nursing should really take no shame in adding more science to its currently word-heavy curriculum.
I have encountered and read so much on this forum how the nurses want their profession to be considered truly professional and, thus, be respected accordingly. Unfortunately, being more caring through acquainting more theories is not going to get nurses there. We already have tremendously caring nursing workforce. It's been established. And, I don't think that it would be churning out new theoretical paradigms every decade that will set nursing atop or apart. In my limited thought, it would actually be the rigorous curriculum that does not mimic social sciences but add depths to our existing nursing science curriculum, which reflect what nurses actually do and face on the floor as nurses. Evidence-based means scientifically-based through exercising empiricism. Theories are the mere outcome of these empirical experiments that are subject to scrutiny and to continued revisions based on more empirical data.
Lastly, an added bonus to heavier science curriculum would be reduced utterances of this darned "critical thinking" that I hear so much in nursing; as a pre-med/pharm student for two years, never once a professor uttered that phrase because it implicitly comes with the territory. Science does indeed makes you think in a systematic fashion. It continues to prove to be an invaluable training tool for all nurses who pursue and advance their nursing careers.
P.S.: I am sorry that this turned out to be a long-winded novelette.
However, I really wanted to share my perspective while I am still somewhat of an outsider/public element looking in.