Theory of Nightingale Essay Example
Theory of Nightingale Essay Example

Theory of Nightingale Essay Example

Available Only on StudyHippo
  • Pages: 4 (1098 words)
  • Published: November 20, 2016
  • Type: Essay
View Entire Sample
Text preview

With the development of many nursing theories, there arises the need to sort through the various ideas and critically analyze the worth for the profession and for personal practice. Just as any ideas should be examined before blind acceptance, so should nursing theory. A critique involves reflectively thinking about the theory and judging its value in a certain situation. A consideration regarding the contribution of the theory to body of knowledge must be made. There have been some guidelines created to help guide the analysis of nursing theory.

Some well-established criteria come from Chinn and Kramer (1998). These include clarity, simplicity, generality, empirical precision, and derivable consequences. Clarity – To be useful, a theory must be clearly understood. Each concept in a theory must be given a theoretical definition that precisely d


escribes how the concept is being used by the theorist. As can become obvious in usual communication, some words have different meanings to different people; this must be avoided in a theory. Concepts in a theory are related to each other through relational propositions.

These too must be clearly stated. A very clear theory often could be diagrammed to show the relationships between concepts. The theory must also be consistent or congruent with the paradigm from which it arises. There should be a clear-cut, logical flow. Simplicity – As well as being clear, a theory should be relatively simple. If a theory is too complex, it invites too many interacting factors, and the relationships between concepts become blurred. One theory cannot provide all the answers to all of the world’s problems, so useful theories are somewhat specific.

Even if

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay

a theory is broad and has far reaching implications, it should be able to be described in fairly simple terms. A theory should be “clean,” it should be “tight. ” Generality – A good theory should be applicable broadly. It should not be too limited by time or situation. Take for example a simple, fictional, theoretical statement that “caring, when shown by a nurse, will enhance healing. ” This theory could be evident in many different situations. It is not limited by the health problem the client has. It is clearly stated, simple, and can be generalized broadly.

Empirical precision – Earlier in this lesson, the need to test theory through research was broached. The criteria that a good theory should be testable addresses that need. To be considered valid, a theory must have research that supports its premises. To be testable, the concepts in the theory must be measurable. In the above example, the two concepts of caring and healing, though abstract, could be operationally defined and indirectly tested. Let’s take another example however. Suppose there was a theoretical statement that said, “empowerment is good.

This statement could not be empirically tested; the concept good is a moral judgment and is too value laden to be measured empirically. There are many cultures that would not value empowerment. Derivable consequences – This last criterion gets at the importance of the theory. It answers whether the theory should be adopted. It is well accepted that clinical practice should be based on research and theory. So each theory must be examined to see if it will lead to positive changes in practice. Chinn and Kramer

(1998) go further to implore nurses to think about the social, political and environmental consequences of a theory as well.

If a theory is not socially responsible, it may not be valuable for nursing. This framework is a useful guide to analyze nursing theory. It will be used with individual theories in future lessons. Analysis and Evaluation of Nursing Theory It is important to understand definitions of nursing theory before moving to theory analysis and evaluation. These definitions direct examination of structure, content, and purposes of theories. Although each of these definitions is adequate for study of any nursing theory, the definition that seems to best fit with the particular purpose for study of theory should be chosen.

For example, one of the definitions by Chinn and Jacobs (1987) and Chin and Kramer (1995) may be chosen for using theory in research. The definition by Silva (1997) may be more appropriate for study of nursing theory for use in practice. Another way to think about this is to consider whether the definition of nursing theory in use fits the theory being analyzed and evaluated. Look carefully at the theory, read the theory as presented by the theorist, and read what others have written about the theory. The whole theory must be studied.

Parts of the theory without the whole will not be fully meaningful and may lead to misunderstanding. Before selecting a guide for analysis and evaluation, consider the level and scope of the theory, as discussed in the previous chapter. Is the theory a grand nursing theory? A philosophy? A middle-range nursing theory? A practice theory? Not all aspects of theory

described in an evaluation guide will be evident in all levels of theory. For example, questions about the metaparadigm are probably not appropriate to use in analyzing middle-range theories.

Whall (1996) recognizes this in offering particular guides for analysis and evaluation that vary according to three types of nursing theory: models, middle-range theories, and practice theories. Theory analysis and evaluation may be thought of as one process or as a two-step sequence. It may be helpful to think of analysis of theory as necessary for adequate study of a nursing theory and evaluation of theory as the assessment of the utility of a theory for particular purposes. Guides for theory evaluation are intended as tools to inform us about theories, and to encourage further development, refinement, and use of theory.

There are no guides for theory analysis and evaluation that are adequate and appropriate for every nursing theory. Johnson (1974) wrote about three basic criteria to guide evaluation of nursing theory. These have continued in use over time and offer direction for guides in use today. These criteria are that the theory should: • define the congruence of nursing practice with societal expectations of nursing decisions and actions; • clarify the social significance of nursing, or the impact of nursing on persons receiving nursing; and • describe social utility, or usefulness of the theory in practice, research, and education.

Following are outlines of the most frequently used guides for analysis and evaluation. These guides are components of the entire work about nursing theory of the individual nursing scholar and offer various interesting approaches to the study of nursing theory. Each guide should

be studied in more detail than is offered in this introduction and should be examined in context of the whole work of the individual nurse scholar.

Get an explanation on any task
Get unstuck with the help of our AI assistant in seconds