Nursing Theories

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Five Stages of Nursing Theory and Philosophy
NU 500 UNIT 1
June 6, 2012
Jeanne Greer, RN
Saint Joseph's University

Five Stages of Nursing Theory and Philosophy

Nursing has made phenomenal achievement in the last century that has led to the recognition of nursing as an academic discipline and a profession. According to Fawcett (1980), a move towards theory-based practice has made nursing meaningful (p. 10). When talking about nursing theory development, it is important to identify the stages that nursing theory development has gone through to define and guide nursing practice.
It is widely believed that the use of theory offers structure and organization to nursing knowledge. George (2002) defined theory as “a set of concepts, definitions, relationships, and assumptions or propositions derived from nursing models or from other disciplines and project a purpose, systematic view of phenomena by describing, explaining, predicting, and/or prescribing”(p. 3). Theory development seeks to help the nurse understand the practice in a more complete and insightful way and provides a method of identifying and expressing key ideas about the essence of practice. Theory development is a complex, time consuming process that covers a number of stages or phases from inception of concepts to testing of theoretical propositions through research (Taylor & Renpenny 2011)
Kidd and Morrison (1988) described five stages of nursing theory development (McEwen &Wills 2007) (p. 24). The first stage is silent knowledge. Silent knowledge is blind obedience to medical authority. Following orders because the physician said to do it with little attempt to develop a theory of why you do something. During this stage nursing has not found its voice. Nursing was under department of medicine and not its own domain. The second stage is received knowledge. Received…...

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