I *do* recognize the need for nursing theory

  1. but I am a bit appalled by the theory and research classes requird for my NP program while we covered the entire cardiovascular system in 1.2 hours of Patho. Why is that ??????????????????

    We have Nursing Theory, Research and Research and Theory.

    How are other programs compared to this one ?
  2. Visit carachel2 profile page

    About carachel2

    Joined: Jun '05; Posts: 1,124; Likes: 857


  3. by   gauge14iv
    Sounds like mine!!!!!!! EXACTLY like mine!!!!!!!

    Tip: I make up for it with a set of certification exam review lecture CD's

    What I don't get in lecture on campus, I get from the cd's - it has really helped a lot.

    Since I'd be advertising if I told you which ones, pm me and I will fill you in.

    They aren't cheap!
  4. by   1Tulip
    Before saying anything, let me admit that I believe nursing theory has been hugely detrimental to our growth as a science and a profession. That is an absolute bias of mine. You are entitled to take what I say with a whole pound of salt if you like.

    Here is my read on how we got into nursing theory lunacy. Prior to oh, sometime in the sixties, nursing education was NOT typically done in a university system. When nursing became a legit undergraduate major there was tremendous pressure to identify a "unique body of knowledge" that was the sole property (so to speak) of nursing. Enter Martha Rogers. She provided a unique body of knowledge all right! Unintelligible to most, but who cared. It was a nursing theory and hense only the initiated (i.e., the nursing faculty and growing cadre of graduate educated nurses) were qualified to understand it let alone critique it.

    I think the pressure to embrace this nursing gnosticism was was increased by the feminist movement that was happening concurrently. Linear, logical, left sided reasoning was the realm of paternalistic, male-dominated sciences. For eons nurses had been caricaturized as (male) doctors' hand-maidens. So by embracing our uniqueness and throwing off any foundations in nursing that had to do with rational epistemology, we were in effect burning our academic bras and declaring our independence.

    Pretty cynical, I know.

    I have my MSN and have taught extensively. I've now got a PhD. I've taught on a faculty that was obsessed with Jean Watson. I find her nursing "theory" to be partiularly obnoxious since it is frankly religious and determinedly anti-intellectual. Watsonians have a religious zeal that would put any bible-pounding fundamentalist to shame. Faculty in a Watsonian program are required to inculcate students with "human caring". Personally, I always thought making people more loving and compassionate was something the third Person of the Holy Trinity was supposed to do. It was way more than they were paying me for so I just moved on.

    Seriously, someday someone is going to point out that the theory "emperors" have been intellectually naked for the last 30 to 40 years. And it will be a sad day when it happens because everyone will have to face the fact that these old gals lead us in a flight from reason... and we were gullible enough to go along.

    Whew! It's so refreshing to vent!
  5. by   Leda

    Thank you for saying out loud what many nurses think. Although I'm perhaps not a cynical as you when it comes to nursing theory, I am waiting for the day when a larger number of nurses question the credibility of some of these theorists. Not all nursing theory is "bad", but the ones that are aren't helping the profession move forward.

    I am currently revisting nursing theory in my Doctorate in Nursing Science program and now view it through a totally different lens. It has been a number of years (2 decades) since I was first introduced to Martha Rogers, et al. A combination of time, education and experience have brought me to a philosophical position similar to yours.

    What pushed me over the edge was a quote in my nursing theory book concerning Parse's Theory of Human Becoming in Nursing Practice:

    "For example a nurse would not set out to test the hypothesis that people choose meaning in situations or that people reveal and conceal who they are. A person either believes or does not believe in the assumptions and beliefs of unitary humans, mutual process, and situated freedom...."

    It does indeed sound like religion not science to me.

    I'm sure many disagree with this viewpoint, but critically evaluating nursing theory and practice is what nurses are supposed to do.
  6. by   gauge14iv
    I think we spend too much time teaching theory and not enough teaching what is needed.

    In addition - depending on where you go to school, the theories taught will be different.

    Honestly - I have just sat there with my mouth hanging open at times when I listen to some of the mumbo jumbo that emanates from the mouths of "theory thumpers". It isn't stuff that is readily understandable, embraceable or even useful in many way - and the time and energy we waste on it is just astounding.
  7. by   carachel2
    Thanks everyone for the interesting dialogue. My aunt has her PhD and she herself says it's all a quack. She and another faculty member recently put two theories together that they thought were COMPLETELY unrelated...(kind of as a joke) and thought it was *hilarious* that it was accepted for publication AND they were invited to a nice resort area to present it at a conference, LOL.

    With that said (and what I said in my original post) I do see the point of some theory. I like the newer practice theories that are specific and involve bedside care and application. I don't think we need to spend three graduate classes on theory though.

    Just to *get back* at the system, I just wrote a 15 page paper without using the word HOLISTIC even once, LOL ! I was determined not to write a flaky, dooby inspired paper full of nursing fluff and I think I did a pretty good job.
  8. by   1Tulip
    There are indeed theories and theorists that are helpful. I believe you can distinguish these from the gnostic ones because they do NOT preclude the use of other fields of science (or philosophy) and their research to infom ours.

    Let me tell you my Aha! experience with nursing theory: I'm just out of the Navy. It's 1974. I've just spent the last three years taking care of shattered young men in a Navy Hospital ICU. Also, my new husband (MD/PhD) is doing his neurology residency at the same University. First day in my required Nsg. Theory class, I can't understand a thing this old bird was saying. She gives us a paper to do. I flunk it big time. Many of us did. (This was apparently before they invented grade inflation). So lots of upset students. Next paper, because none of us were understanding the assignments, she put her directions for the assigned paper in writing. I read it 30 times and couldn't make heads or tails of it. I mean, the sentences had nouns and verbs and clauses in reasonable order. But she spent a whole page of 12 point font and said nothing.

    OK, I say to self. I only have a BSN. I'll take it to PhD hubby and see if he can understand it. Sure, he isn't a nurse, but he has YEARS of academic experience. I give it to him... he reads it for about 10 minutes, gives it back and says to me, absolutely dead-pan "Honey... whoever wrote this has receptive aphasia."

    I laughed so hard I almost wet myself. But in all seriousness, a receptive aphasic, though not deaf, cannot hear themselves and sort out what their words mean. They cannot process language. I believe (in semi-seriousness) that the most way-out theorists just string words and concepts together. I suspect they have damage in their parietal lobes. Yep. That's the answer. They're all brain-damaged.

    It would be funny if it weren't so sad.
  9. by   1Tulip
    She and another faculty member recently put two theories together that they thought were COMPLETELY unrelated...(kind of as a joke) and thought it was *hilarious* that it was accepted for publication AND they were invited to a nice resort area to present it at a conference, LOL.

    Oh, that is hysterical! Can you PLEASE give me the reference!!!!
  10. by   ZASHAGALKA
    I commented on this at length in the "Can you be a nurse without Jean Watson" thread.

    My take. Not only can you be a nurse without her, you can be one in spite of her.

    Nursing theory has held us back because our colleagues cannot relate to us and so, have no basis of understanding of what nursing really is about. How can they treat us as co-professionals when they can't even understand what we're talking about.

    Nursing theory is like grade school children that 'discovered' pig latin and think it's soooo sophisticated.

  11. by   gauge14iv
    What a great analogy! Much of the time - I'm not even sure the people who are trying to convince us we need theory are convinced that we need it.

    I just don't find or feel the conviction.

    And I agree that it creates a point of "laughability" with other professions - A physician friend was looking over a couple of papers I wrote and just was appalled at the "crap" (his words) that we are required to write.

    Nurses want respect as a hard science? Dump a lot of the new age alternative language and theory now common to nursing and base it on hard science, sociology and psychology - at least those theories are well tested. At this point, nurses are starting to be seen as alternative medicine herbal health zealots. Hmmmm could "impaired Aura" be part of it?

    Can theory be useful? Sure - at least some parts of it, but just like books on how to raise a child, you can't take one book in sum and say "this is it - this is the way to do it and the ONLY way to do it and it will apply to every child".
  12. by   mitchsmom
    Hey carachel2,
    Why don't you fight fire with fire? You should officially pen the nursing theory of "No Fluff" & make people come to their senses
  13. by   DorkyStudentNurse
    Ahh! I feel so much better now. I'm only a first year Nursing student but I still have not learned ONE technical skill whatsoever. At my school, theory comprises basically the entire first year, yet we do clinicals in long-term care facilities and the like. I feel insanely nervous about going into this situation without any skills (not even bed baths or anything like that). I don't know if this is normal, but it's sure stressing me out. Clinicals start in January and I have no idea what I'm doing. I feel that it's helpful to have the basis of nursing theory, but it seems like I could be learning so much more right now. I thought that I was alone in not looking at the theorists as the be all and end all of nursing.
  14. by   1Tulip
    Hey listen, D.StudentNurse. You don't need to be taught any skills. All you have to do is understand your energy field. I'm cutting and pasting a description of how to give an injection in the true Rogerian way. I am not making this up!

    So let's take a pretty standard example - what is the difference between giving an injection in and out of Rogerian theory. Outside the context of the theory we imbue the ingredients in the syringe as the major ingredient in the interaction. How the contents of the syringe are delivered is of little relevance. Within the context of Rogerian science from the moment that the "intent" to deliver the contents of the syringe to the pt/client enters our consciousness we are "connected" to the "energy field" of the client. How we fill it, how we approach the client's room, how we enter the room, how we move toward the client, how we respect the intermingling of our energy field with that of the client, how we reach out to touch the client, the manner in which we initiate the actual contact, the manner in which we perturb/perceive the client's energy field, the way we introduce the needle to the client's IV's or body, the way we push the contents, the manner in which we withdraw the needle, the way we touch, stroke or do not touch or stroke the client, the manner in which we withdraw from the client's energy field, leave the room and then refocus on our next engagement with another client and consciously disentangle our own energy field from that of the last client are all significant variables that affect the manner in which the client responds to the interaction and to the delivery of the contents of the syringe.

    The lesson dear D.StudentNurse, is that in order to learn to DO nursing, you're going to have to ask the nurses who are DOING it, (i.e., the staff on your clinical site), not the ones teaching it.