Theory Analysis for Nursing Practice Essay

Theory Analysis for Nursing Practice Essay

Theory Analysis for Nursing Practice Essay

Theories in nursing provide guidelines on how nurses can offer care and interact with patients to enhance quality outcomes by focusing on patient-centric care. Nursing theories are organized frameworks of concepts and purpose to guide the nursing practice. One role of nursing theories is development of knowledge to influence practice (Smith, 2020). Theories that include grand nurse theories, middle range and practice-level play a critical role in development of nursing knowledge and informing the practice to adapt to the changing and dynamic nature of healthcare provision (Gimbel, 2017). The purpose of this paper is to explore and analyze grand theories by ascertaining the differences with others. The paper also describes the role of nurses within a selected theoretical model and provides a personal reflection on the application of theory analysis criteria in studying nursing theory.

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Grand Theories and Differences from Others

The dynamic and changing nature of healthcare provision characterized by increased access that responds to a surge in demand implores nurses to be conversant with different nurse theories and possess knowledge about their application. Research studies on the application of theories in nursing shows an overall of various philosophies regardless of patient population and practice settings. The use of any theory depends on the scope based on concepts and the targeted patient population. Grand nursing theories involve all aspects of human experience and allow for general application. Grand theories are also wide in scope and relate to broader areas of nursing like health promotion for all people in a community and society (Meleis, 2018). Grand theories also differ with middle range and practice-level since they are not specific and abstract and require more research for clarity. These theories offer a general framework and nursing ideas but do not guide certain nursing interventions. They also address the nursing metaparadigm components that include person, nursing, health, and environment.

Middle range theories and limited in scope and can address a specific phenomenon in nursing. Unlike the grand theories, middle range models are the most preferred since they are founded on a grand theorist’s works and can also be conceived from research, nursing practice and other theoretical models of other fields or disciplines. Middle range theories focus on specific nursing situations and are applicable in a broad range of clinical settings (Smith, 2020). For instance, Peplau’s theory of interpersonal relations is essential because of its emphasis on the development of patient-nurse relationships to assist care providers identify patient health needs and offers services tailored to meet individual client needs. Situation-specific models have the most limited scope as they address a defined nursing area, especially clinical condition and defined patient populations.

However, due to the increasing complexities, the abstract nature of these models can be helpful for addressing complicated phenomena relevant to nursing like the aging population and emerging infectious diseases. Grand theories can address the complexities of these issues for advanced nurse practitioners at a larger level like at the global or international stage.  Through the application of grand theories, advance practice nurse can view each client both as an individual and part of a larger system.

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Role of Nurse within Grand Theoretical Models

Grand theories have the broadest scope compared to middle range and practice-level or situation specific theories. Through this broadest scope, nurses can apply the theoretical models effectively to deliver quality care interventions in diverse clinical settings and patient populations. Grand theories like Henderson Need theory is applicable in promoting independence among diverse patient groups with different health challenges as it address 14 patient areas. Similarly, Neuman’s system model is a grand theory that can guide advanced nursing practice as it uses prevention as the foundation of health promotion.

Nurses are critical part of care provision as they promote patient’s needs and seek to offer quality care interventions. Using Neumann’s theory, the nurse can offer a holistic and comprehensive approach to maximize client’s health by focusing on stressors that impact the interaction between the client and the environment (Smith, 2020). The role of the nurse is to ensure that a client has stability with the environment through three levels of prevention that comprise of primary, secondary, and tertiary. Through the use of Neumann’s systems model, the advanced practice nurse can effectively identify appropriate interventions at various stages of disease progression and process (Meleis, 2018). By discussing the five environment variables with patients, nurses develop partnerships that lead to creation of mutually-agreed on goals. The advanced nurse can also promote prevention by offering patient education and counselling to mitigate the adverse effects of care provision. For instance, self-care education enhances health in populations as it promotes care among individuals, families and populations.

Reflection on Use of Theory Analysis Criteria

The study of nursing theory requires an effective approach to analyze and categorize these models as effective to nursing based on their scope and effects on nursing practice. Advanced practice nurses need appropriate theories that allow them to identify health issues at a broader level for better interventions (Smith, 2020). Consequently, the use of theory analysis criteria allows advanced practice nurses to evaluate the strengths of each respective theory at different stages for better application. I believe that the criteria are important and allow nurses to tailor care provision based on patient needs (Meleis, 2018). The criteria ensure that critical elements are noted by providers to improve quality and optimal care provision.


Nurse practitioners will continue to play significant and greater roles in healthcare system and provision in response to the increased demand due to an aging population and shortage of healthcare professionals. As such, grand theories will be the most applicable in empowering nurses with a wide range of skills and knowledge to enhance their capacity to offer and cope with the increased demand across care and population continuum. Application of a combination of the three theory types in nursing will equip nurses with holistic approaches to healthcare, particularly in addressing the emergence of infectious and chronic conditions.


Gimbel, S. (2017). Creating academic structures to promote nursing’s role in global health

policy. International Nursing Review, 64(1): 117-125. doi: 10.1111/inr.12338.

Meleis, A. I. (2018). Theoretical nursing: development and progress (6th ed). Philadelphia:

Wolters Kluwer.

Smith, M. C. (2020).Nursing theories & nursing practice (5th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A.


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Theory Analysis for Nursing Practice

Analyze three ways in which the grand theory models differ from others explored
Describe the role of the nurse within at least one theoretical model presented in the readings below
Use the theory analysis framework content from the course’s required textbook (Chapter 3) to analyze one theory of your choice
Create a personal reflection on use of theory analysis criteria in studying nursing theory

Suggested Readings & Materials:

Chapters 3, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, & 13 in Smith, M. C. (2020) Nursing theories & nursing practice (5th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis

Additional Instructions:

All submissions should have a title page and reference page.
Utilize a minimum of three scholarly resources.
Adhere to grammar, spelling and punctuation criteria.
Adhere to APA compliance guidelines.
Adhere to the chosen Submission Option for Delivery of Activity guidelines.

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