“A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots” (Marcus Garvey). Understanding nursing theory and how it has developed throughout the decades allows us to know what the root of our profession entails. “ Each era addressed nursing knowledge in a unique way that contributed to the history of nursing “( Alligood 2010). We have the unique opportunity to not only understand how nursing rose to meet the challenges and needs of those they served but also use that knowledge to forge new pathways. History offers insights into social pressures of the past, such as access to health care and the role of women. Intertwined into that history are the many theorists that influenced and guided nursing practice. The contributions of the theorists present nursing as a discipline and provide knowledge structure for further development (Alligood 2010).
Historical achievements have advanced nursing practice towards the goals of establishing nursing as a profession. Early in the twentieth century nurses recognized the need to establish nursing as a profession and began the transition from vocation to profession (Alligood 2010). Nurses began to enter universities resulting in advances in practice and knowledge. The criterion requiring specialized knowledge was pertinent in the transition from vocation to profession (Alligood 2010).
As we face the many challenges of the future of healthcare, continued theory development is crucial to the progression of nursing. As technological advances increase- critical, logical and higher order thinking combined with the caring holistic foundation of our roots will be essential.
Alligood, M. R. (2010). Nursing theory: Utilization & application (4th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier.
Alligood, M. R., & Tomey, A. M. (2010). Nursing theorists and their work (7th ed.)....