Nursing Theorists - page 2

Hello - I'm just starting a nursing theory class for my RN-BSN program and we've started with Jean Watson and Betty Neuman. I actually met Jean at a conference about a month ago. Nice lady. Who... Read More

  1. Visit  llg profile page
    2
    Like many nurses, I learned a little about nursing theory in college but didn't fully grasp its significance for nursing at the time. I also didn't fully integrate its use into my practice at the time. However, as I got more experience as a practicing nurse (both as a staff nurse and CNS) and went to graduate school twice, my understanding and appreciation of the nurse theorsits has grown enormously.

    Today, my primary job is in Nursing Staff Development. I work full time for a hospital. But I also teach a Nursing Theory class (and a nursing research class) for a local university in their BSN completion program. I am having a terrific time with that as the students and I together explore the different theories and relate them to our practice. I think that having had at least a couple of years of nursing practice experience makes it easier for my students to fully appreciate what the theories can contribute to their undestanding of situations that occur in nursing.

    I am a huge advocate of the use of multiple theories -- of not just picking one upon which to base your practice. I see each theory as a tool to be used. Just as I wouldn't assume that only 1 tool (such as a hammer or a wrench) would be the only tool I would need to build a house, I would not assume that I only needed one theory to understand all aspects of the world around me. As one of my students said at the end of the semester "Each theory is like a different color of paint. While you can paint a picture with just different shades of one color ... you get the most realistic painting if you use multiple colors of paint. Each theory is a different color on the artists pallette."

    Also, as I've re-explored the thoeries over the last couple of years, I have discovered "new" aspects of some of them that I never really understood before. Some theories I didn't like in the past are becoming my favorites and other theories that seemed so great in the past don't impress me as much. I am also havng fun exploring some of the new theories that most people never heard of. As we have seen a growth in graduate level nursing programs, the volume of work being done in nursing research and theory development/testing has increased. The new work is taking nursing theory beyond what it was in decades past -- often in directions that relate to issues relevant to contemporary nursing such as outcomes measurement and cost containment. The practical use of theory is emphasized more than it was in some past eras. That's an exciting development.

    Some of my favorite theories (at the moment):

    Benner -- ( classic for anyone is staff development

    Kristin Swanson -- I prefer her caring theory over Watson's even though Watson was one of my grad school professors. I think Watson has been the most influential theorist in recent years, but the spriritual aspects of her theory are difficult for some people to relate to and it can be difficult to translate her theory into practical, measurable outcomes. I love Swanson's definition of nursing as "informed caring for the well-being of others."

    Rogers -- hard to grasp the universe as being composed of energy rather than matter, but I admire her courage for putting "something new and different" out there.

    Parse -- Like Rogers, her theory is very hard to grasp and I doubt it will ever be mainstream, but as I read it again this past year, I finally "got it" and found it excitingly profound.

    The Synergy Theory -- developed by the critical care nursing association. Yes, it's a theory developed by a committee (a scary idea if ever there was one) ... and I have a few quibbles with it ... but it's basic underlying idea is one I really like for use in actual practice. It was designed to provide nursing leadership (as well as for bedside nurses) to provide a structure for the provision of nursing services. We need that. This would be my pick if I were going to have to pick one theory to serve as a foundation for nursing practice. It includes all the other theories as pieces within its comprehensive overview.

    Henderson -- the giant of the 20th century ... Probably my #1 pick if I had to pick just one person whose work I respected the most.
    Last edit by llg on Jun 13, '08
    Spidey's mom and BBFRN like this.
  2. Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  3. Visit  Spidey's mom profile page
    0
    Quote from llg
    Like many nurses, I learned a little about nursing theory in college but didn't fully grasp its significance for nursing at the time. I also didn't fully integrate its use into my practice at the time. However, as I got more experience as a practicing nurse (both as a staff nurse and CNS) and went to graduate school twice, my understanding and appreciation of the nurse theorsits has grown enormously.

    Today, my primary job is in Nursing Staff Development. I work full time for a hospital. But I also teach a Nursing Theory class (and a nursing research class) for a local university in their BSN completion program. I am having a terrific time with that as the students and I together explore the different theories and relate them to our practice. I think that having had at least a couple of years of nursing practice experience makes it easier for my students to fully appreciate what the theories can contribute to their undestanding of situations that occur in nursing.

    I am a huge advocate of the use of multiple theories -- of not just picking one upon which to base your practice. I see each theory as a tool to be used. Just as I wouldn't assume that only 1 tool (such as a hammer or a wrench) would be the only tool I would need to build a house, I would not assume that I only needed one theory to understand all aspects of the world around me. As one of my students said at the end of the semester "Each theory is like a different color of paint. While you can paint a picture with just different shades of one color ... you get the most realistic painting if you use multiple colors of paint. Each theory is a different color on the artists pallette."

    Also, as I've re-explored the thoeries over the last couple of years, I have discovered "new" aspects of some of them that I never really understood before. Some theories I didn't like in the past are becoming my favorites and other theories that seemed so great in the past don't impress me as much. I am also havng fun exploring some of the new theories that most people never heard of. As we have seen a growth in graduate level nursing programs, the volume of work being done in nursing research and theory development/testing has increased. The new work is taking nursing theory beyond what it was in decades past -- often in directions that relate to issues relevant to contemporary nursing such as outcomes measurement and cost containment. The practical use of theory is emphasized more than it was in some past eras. That's an exciting development.

    Some of my favorite theories (at the moment):

    Benner -- ( classic for anyone is staff development

    Kristin Swanson -- I prefer her caring theory over Watson's even though Watson was one of my grad school professors. I think Watson has been the most influential theorist in recent years, but the spriritual aspects of her theory are difficult for some people to relate to and it can be difficult to translate her theory into practical, measurable outcomes. I love Swanson's definition of nursing as "informed caring for the well-being of others."

    Rogers -- hard to grasp the universe as being composed of energy rather than matter, but I admire her courage for putting "something new and different" out there.

    Parse -- Like Rogers, her theory is very hard to grasp and I doubt it will ever be mainstream, but as I read it again this past year, I finally "got it" and found it excitingly profound.

    Henderson -- the giant of the 20th century ... Probably my #1 pick if I had to pick just one

    Thank you llg, and everyone else:flowersfo
    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Jun 13, '08
  4. Visit  PMHNP10 profile page
    1
    Quote from Spidey's mom
    Hello - I'm just starting a nursing theory class for my RN-BSN program and we've started with Jean Watson and Betty Neuman. I actually met Jean at a conference about a month ago. Nice lady.

    Who would YOU all say is the most influential nurse theorist and why do you think so?

    Thanks - steph
    most influential, IMHO would be Nightingale--I consider her a theorist; one could argue she revolutionized health care with her attention to sanitation and keeping notes and statistics; without her work during the Crimean War, are we where we are today?

    Quote from elkpark
    I am also a big fan of Henderson and also, since my field is psych, Hildegard Peplau, the "mother" of psychiatric nursing.
    sadly, we did not cover Peplau in the theory class I took; it's no coincidence that there is a lot of anti-psych sentiment at the school; any neat little websites about her that you know of?
    Spidey's mom likes this.
  5. Visit  elkpark profile page
    2
    Quote from PsychRN03
    sadly, we did not cover Peplau in the theory class I took; it's no coincidence that there is a lot of anti-psych sentiment at the school; any neat little websites about her that you know of?
    Well, back in the day, I learned about her and her theory the old-fashioned way -- you know, words on paper :chuckle But here is the "official" HP website, and I'm sure that would be a good start.

    http://publish.uwo.ca/~cforchuk/peplau/hpcb.html
    Spidey's mom and Heart4RN like this.
  6. Visit  Heart4RN profile page
    1
    Quote from llg
    Watson .....the spriritual aspects of her theory are difficult for some people to relate to and it can be difficult to translate her theory into practical, measurable outcomes. Henderson -- the giant of the 20th century ... Probably my #1 pick if I had to pick just one person whose work I respected the most.

    I'm in the same program with Stephanie and really interested in the different theories. We talked at length about Watson and I agree with your above statement. Her theory has been very difficult for me to relate with. I have an overall general understanding but it just seems so far out there.

    As for my #1 pick, I really appreciate the Basic Principles of Nursing Care by Henderson. I think more so because I'm a new nurse and those basic principles of care apply to "any person regardless of diagnosis or treatment".:redpinkhe
    llg likes this.
  7. Visit  llg profile page
    2
    Quote from Heart4RN
    I'm in the same program with Stephanie and really interested in the different theories. We talked at length about Watson and I agree with your above statement. Her theory has been very difficult for me to relate with. I have an overall general understanding but it just seems so far out there.

    As for my #1 pick, I really appreciate the Basic Principles of Nursing Care by Henderson. I think more so because I'm a new nurse and those basic principles of care apply to "any person regardless of diagnosis or treatment".:redpinkhe
    Yes, Watson is "out there." That's a phrase we used in grad school. Another expression that sometimes crept into our conversation was that we were on the "cutting edge" of nursing scholarship and sometimes were afraid that we were falling off the edge!

    Seriously ... if you like the idea of caring, but have trouble relating to Watson ... look up the work of Kristen Swanson. She has studied the process of caring in a way that is much less mystical and more pragmatic. She uses it as a foundation for outcomes research and it is more concrete and easier to relate to actual practice situations. As a former student of Watson, her work is compatable with Watson's theory -- but has a more practical, down-to-earth tone.
    Spidey's mom and BBFRN like this.
  8. Visit  Spidey's mom profile page
    0
    Quote from llg
    Yes, Watson is "out there." That's a phrase we used in grad school. Another expression that sometimes crept into our conversation was that we were on the "cutting edge" of nursing scholarship and sometimes were afraid that we were falling off the edge!

    Seriously ... if you like the idea of caring, but have trouble relating to Watson ... look up the work of Kristen Swanson. She has studied the process of caring in a way that is much less mystical and more pragmatic. She uses it as a foundation for outcomes research and it is more concrete and easier to relate to actual practice situations. As a former student of Watson, her work is compatable with Watson's theory -- but has a more practical, down-to-earth tone.
    Thank you for mentioning Kristen Swanson.

    I forgot to add that I asked for a "favor" (answering the original question here) on another forum and there is an answer to the question I posted here on there. (If that makes sense - I'm tired).

    Here is the link for that thread and a lengthy and interesting post.

    http://allnurses.com/forums/f223/favor-309750.html

    steph
    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Jun 24, '08
  9. Visit  Cat12345 profile page
    0
    I am also currently studying nursing theorists in my RN to BSN program. It seems that there is no "one size fits all theory" for either education, day to day nursing or research. In my practice I can recognize Dorthea Orems self care model, Imogene King's goal setting model, as well as Roy's adaptation model being used daily. Watson's caring theory, although it may seem "out there", does speak to one of the main reasons I chose nursing as a career. I'm interested in looking up Swanson and finding out more about her theory. Thanks for the info on her.
    The difficulty I find in studying and applying nursing theory is that it takes time to absorb the information enough to make sense of it. Many of these theorists are very verbose. Hopefully, as time passes, I'll recognize more and more the theorists concepts and know that I have them in my toolbelt if needed.
  10. Visit  llg profile page
    0
    Quote from Cat12345
    I am also currently studying nursing theorists in my RN to BSN program. It seems that there is no "one size fits all theory" for either education, day to day nursing or research. In my practice I can recognize Dorthea Orems self care model, Imogene King's goal setting model, as well as Roy's adaptation model being used daily. Watson's caring theory, although it may seem "out there", does speak to one of the main reasons I chose nursing as a career. I'm interested in looking up Swanson and finding out more about her theory. Thanks for the info on her.
    The difficulty I find in studying and applying nursing theory is that it takes time to absorb the information enough to make sense of it. Many of these theorists are very verbose. Hopefully, as time passes, I'll recognize more and more the theorists concepts and know that I have them in my toolbelt if needed.
    I think that is a very healthy and productive approach to studying theory. You pick up a little here and there ... add to your knowledge over time ... and "collect tools" in your tool belt (or tool box) that can be taken out when they might be helpful later.

    As you mature in your understanding of nursing scholarship, you'll have increasingly more tools to use.

    Good luck to you ... and welcome to allnurses.com !
  11. Visit  Weezer25 profile page
    0
    I am in the same class as Stephanie and am in the same boat with regard to the thoughts, feelings, and opinions about Watson. Her focus is great, but why all the complicated verbage to describe something so simple?? I'm leaning towards Betty Neuman's systems theory and Hendersen's theory. Both really make a lot of sense to me and I really like how Hendersen's theory gives the RN some autonomy with regard to decision making, rather than just being perceived as an MD "order filler."
  12. Visit  luv2hunt profile page
    1
    I like pieces from several of the theorists that we have studied. Betty Neuman's Systems Model makes sense to me. I like the interaction she demonstrates between stressors, lines of defense, prevention and how they affect the client as a whole.

    I also like Orlando-Pelletier's theory. It seems very simple to me. Patient behavior, nurse reaction, nurse action....
    MaryAnn_RN likes this.
  13. Visit  BBFRN profile page
    0
    Quote from luv2hunt

    I also like Orlando-Pelletier's theory. It seems very simple to me. Patient behavior, nurse reaction, nurse action....
    That's a new one to me. Sounds very interesting, though.
  14. Visit  TreeDoc profile page
    1
    Well, my take on this whole theory thing is......they were developed in the education community as a guide to curriculum by people that either needed to be published or couldn't find a model that they liked.

    As a new RN I could probably adopt any of these theories (perhaps with the help of some Zofran :imbar) into aspects of my daily practice. Heck, I could probably make a career out of it .

    But at this point in time, I am too busy refining skills, learning the nuances of charting, working too much overtime, adjusting family life to career and school to get more than just exposure out of a theory course .

    I can also envision a new grad coming on to the floor spouting caritas criteria for administrating human care essentials with an intentional consciousness when all that is required is digital stimulation :chuckle.

    Perhaps it is just a progression...Florence to Henderson to Wiedenbach to Neuman to Orem to Watson to ad nauseam .
    Last edit by TreeDoc on Jul 9, '08
    Spidey's mom likes this.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and find your dream job.

Top