NR 501 Week 1: Nursing Theory

Nursing theory is essential in the nursing profession. The theories taught and carried out by the nursing profession is the line that separates nursing from a general medicine occupation.  Theories create a holistic overview for nurses to care for patients to improve outcomes by allowing them to see the patient as more than just a scientific diagnosis. They provide direction for the nursing practice as a whole that creates a structure in which nurses practice (Parker and Smith, 2015).  Theories in nursing portray situations in systematic ways that generate and understanding that is carried out in nursing practice and research The teaching and understanding of nursing theory enhances the profession and helps nursing practice evolve as healthcare does (Solomon, 2021). Nursing theory is equally as important to the practice of a registered nurse as it is the practice of a nurse practitioner. The education of a nurse practitioner is a building block upon the foundation of the nursing baccalaureate degree. Nurse practitioners are cultivated with the theories of nursing practice and continue to serve patients based upon their findings and research. Patients I have come into contact with have told me that they see their nurse practitioner over their provider and many prefer to do so based upon their bedside manner and holistic approach to their care. Proving that these concepts do not stop at the role of a registered nurse, but embody the nursing profession as a whole. Nurse practitioners have the ability to carry out nursing theory at a higher level to provide high levels of care to patients. The future of nursing practice requires nurses to analytically construct ideas and implement changes based upon both societal demands and nursing needs as time warrants (Butts and Rich, 2018). It is the duty of a practicing nurse practitioner to understand theories and the evolution of such to provide quality care to patient populations.

Butts, J. B., & Rich, K. L. (2018). Philosophies and theories for Advanced Nursing Practice (3rd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning. 

Smith, M. C., & Parker, M. E. (2015). Nursing theories and nursing practice (4th ed.). F.A. Davis Company.  

Solomon, J. (2021). Going above and beyond: Using nursing theories to explore volunteerism during the COVID-19 pandemic. British Journal of Nursing30(21), 1238–1240. 

Nursing theory, is indeed, important to the nursing profession. Moreover, it is essential for nurse practitioners. According to our readings this week, Butts and Rich (2017) explain that theories help us apply real-life experiences and stories to practice. Rather than looking at everything as though life is in a vacuum, theory allows one to apply practice to actual situations and see the never-ending variables that may come into play. When I think of theory, I think of it very much from a sociological standpoint as we bring our own experiences and exposures to our practice as we apply our general knowledge to care for patients. Furthermore, we learn our patients’ histories and apply our nursing knowledge, personal experiences, cultural influences, situational backgrounds, and overall physical assessment to deliver the best care for that specific patient at that time in their life. As Çöplü and Tekinsoy (2019) indicate, nurses bring their own ethical and personal beliefs to the table; however, with exposure to different experiences as a nurse, the nurse develops the professional values that allow them to provide care built on trust and integrity.  

I believe that theory does inform nurse practitioner practice. Theory is a complex process; however, I appreciate the authors of our text explaining that theory can be broken down into the process of asking the appropriate questions to elicit the appropriate answer (Butts & Rich, 2017). As nurse practitioners are more exposed to their patients or field, they may have the ability to formulate better questions in order to elicit a more informed answer; in turn, helping the patient more efficiently.


Butts, J.B., & Rich, K.L. (2017). Philosophies And Theories For Advanced Nursing Practice. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Çöplü, M., & Tekinsoy, K.P., Professional self-concept and professional values of senior students of the nursing department. Nursing Ethics. 2019;26(5):1387-1397. doi:10.1177/0969733018761171Links to an external site.

 Is nursing theory important to the nursing profession? In particular, is it important for nurse practitioners? Does theory inform nurse practitioner practice? If you believe that it is important, explain why it is useful. If you do not believe that it is useful, explain why nursing theory is not necessary to the profession. 

I firmly believe that nursing theory is very important to nursing profession. Theories are the foundations of all professions because it provides set of concepts that make up the basic knowledge of the discipline. Nursing theories serves as a tool to increase understanding of the values of nursing profession. Chamberlain College of Nursing stated (2023), ” The theory provides the structure of nursing practice and a method for collecting and analyzing data to explore, describe, and predict nursing practice. Furthermore, the theory provides nurses with a systematic means of challenging and supporting intuition. Theories makes nursing practice meaningful by identifying the process of practice and linking those processes with the outcome of care” (CCN,2023). 

Nursing theory is important to nurse practitioners because it helps improve the quality of nursing care as it allows nurses to understand what they do for patients and why they do it. The use of conceptual and theoretical frameworks to organize the educational curriculum of nursing programs is essential to protect and preserve the focus and clarity of nursing contribution to the health care. The nurse practitioner role core competencies are theoretical guidelines set aside by the NONPF to establish the core competencies expected of all active advanced nurse practitioner. Younas Ahtisham and Quenell Shannon stated that, ” Nursing theories have guided practice in both eastern and Western countries, and theory-guided practice has been found useful compared to traditional nursing practice. Nurses should continue to guide their nursing practice through the lens of nursing theories and should continue to evaluate the effectiveness of nursing theory-guided practice” (2019). 


Chamberlain College of Nursing. (2023).  Theoretical Basis for Advanced Nursing. Week 1: Nursing Theory (Online lesson). Downers Grove, IL: DeVry Education Group. 

Younas, A., & Quennell, S. (2019). Usefulness of nursing theory- guided practice: an interactive review. Scandinavian journal of caring sciences. 33(3):540-555.