NR 501 Assignment Importance of Theory Paper

Sample Answer for Included After Question

For many students enrolled in NR501, this is an initial course for nursing theory.  So, let’s have a debate!!!  Is nursing theory important to the nursing profession?  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?  Be sure to provide an example that demonstrates your opinion and a scholarly reference (not using the required textbook or lesson) which supports your opinion.

A Sample Answer For the Assignment: NR 501 Assignment Importance of Theory Paper


As suggested by Alligood (2013), a nursing theory is formed by culmination of ideas, definitions, values, expectations and interrelationship that one can witness in the nursing profession. A theory provides the much-needed base to the best practices related to any profession. Both inductive as well as deductive reasoning is important in order to develop nursing theories. Many nursing theories have made the foundation of modern nursing practice. Jean Watson’s theory of human care is one of these.

It is widely referred by nursing practitioners all over the world (Arslan‐Özkan, Okumuş, and Buldukoğlu, 2014). It provides guidance to nursing professionals on the way they should deliver care to the patients, educate them, promote wellness, and take steps to prevent the spread of diseases. The objective of this paper is to elaborate upon the significance of this nursing theory for the practitioners as well as the industry. We will summarize Watson’s theory of human care and how can a nursing professional improve the quality of her services by applying this theory.

Importance of Nursing Theory

Due to their importance, nursing theories are widely included in the master program. These theories help the master’s students to attain better knowledge about the protocols and processes to provide the necessary care to their patients. As a result, they are able to manage their patients in a better way. These theories also impart inductive thinking amongst nursing professionals and help them evolve as a leader. Therefore, there are substantial reasons for these theories to be a part of the nursing program.

These nursing theories enable a nurse to describe, and/or predict a certain issue or solution during the course of her job. According to Ozan and Okumuş (2017), nursing theories build the core of nursing practice. Without these, the nursing professionals would not have a structured approach towards any professional issue.

Additionally, a nurse uses a nursing theory as a point of reference and generates further knowledge and experiences based on it. She also gets the right direction to target her efforts to, by using a theory. Documented theories tell nurses about the problems that are still unsolved so that they may focus their attention in exploring those areas. They also know their professional rights and boundaries to work with all the necessary compliance and become more acceptable.

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Nursing theories clearly differentiate the roles and responsibilities of nursing professionals vis a via all other healthcare professionals. In other words, nursing theories enlighten nursing professionals on the ways they can provide the most appropriate care service to their patients. As compared to this, the other healthcare professionals are assigned a variety of other responsibilities like diagnosing a medical condition, write prescriptions, and monitor the condition of patients. Nursing theories are very much about the specific care related needs of the patients and do no explore areas like medicines and surgeries etc.

NR 501 Assignment Importance of Theory Paper
NR 501 Assignment Importance of Theory Paper

An important area where nursing theories are implied is- patient safety. According to Pajnkihar and Vrbnjak (2017), the ultimate objective of all the nursing theories is to enhance the level of care delivered by nurses. Therefore, it helps in improving the overall level of skills and quality for the nursing industry. There are specific theories that focus on safety of the patients and how nurses can contribute to the cause. Some of these measures include support from the community as well as the hospital environment.

Summary of Selected Nursing Theory

Jean Watson suggested the theory of human care in order to identify the factors that decide the quality of care delivered to the patients by nurses. During 1975 and 1979, it went through several phases of development. Watson published the theory for the first time in 1979. The four key elements of the theory are environment, humans, health, and nursing profession.

Sitzman and Watson (2013) believe that this theory puts a lot of emphasis on human life and recommends the best quality of care for them. It is because humans expect the same from a nurse. Moreover, the theory also suggests that the humans look for support and respect from others in the society. Because of this human nature, we are considered social animals. For us- sum is always greater than the parts. The primary focus of the theory is the factors that a nurse needs to keep in mind while taking critical decisions about the health of any patient. It asks the nurses to keep in mind the physical, psychological, and social background of patients while making their decisions.

The framework of Jean Watson theory of human care defines health as one of the top-level system function within an individual. It involves the physical, psychological, social, financial, and spiritual condition of a human being (Yeter Durgun Ozan Ph.D., 2015). According to Watson, health is something more than the absence of a disease. The nurse should take cafre of the overall wellbeing of the people who are under her care and supervision. The performance of a nurse should be evaluated by the standards of care that she sets for her patients.

As far as the ecosystem and the society is concerned, Watson goes on to say that every society needs and has nursing services. Morrow (2014) further elaborates that the care standards also define the decision making process in the nursing practice. These values are passed over generations and continue to improve the nursing practice over the years. The theory believes that the healthcare culture moves on from generation to generation and continues to evolve as new knowledge and practices come in.

Watson asserts that nurses are primarily concerned with providing care to the patients in order to prevent or treat diseases. They play a very important role in keeping the society healthy.  Nurses are an important cog in the healthcare wheel and they support all the other healthcare professionals in their job. The virtue of care for patients makes a nurse good at her job. Therefore, the nurses should have empathy and compassion for human beings. They have to take nursing as more than a job, a way of life.

Application of Watson’s Theory to Selected Professional Nursing Practice area

Jean Watson’s theory of human care advises that a nurse practitioner is one who uses her skills, experience, and values in providing care and treatment to patients to overcome certain diseases. As per the theory, care is an art as well as a science that explores the human behavior. They use certain principles and skills to understand the needs of the patients and then provide them the required care. They also ascertain any gaps in the care process and try to bridge these. 

Keeping in mind the above definitions and values associated with nursing practice, Watson tasks the nurses to make sure that they provide the highest quality of services to the patients. They need to build a professional relationship with the patient and his family, provide them the right information about the condition of the patient, educate them on their rights and responsibilities, and seek the necessary feedback. In other words, they need to apply holistic healthcare management for treatment. They can do so by spending time with patient, identifying the requirements, and suggest the right interventions.

I remember an incident where I had to apply Watson theory of care. The patient had been facing diabetes since long. Her condition required a structured, holistic support to take care of her disease. Working as a practicing nurse, I was supposed to take care of her and deliver the best possible services to take care of her condition. I spent a lot of time to understand her condition, mindset, family history, and things that will make her feel better. Through this effort, I could nurture a strong relationship with her and understand the right interventions required to treat her condition.

Because of this relationship, I could easily receive all this information from the patient and her family, understand their expectations, and get near real time feedback about the services provided by me. The experience attained from this case also helped me in attending subsequent cases of diabetes and other chronic diseases. Therefore, every experience counts while designing the nursing interventions for specific patients.

In the second case, Watson’s theory was used by a nurse practitioner to further develop an evidence based practice intervention for a particular condition. For example, a nurse practitioner may look to design evidence-based interventions that can bring down the instances of fall of patients admitted in hospitals. By doing so, the nurse will be able to add value to the nursing related knowledge and pass it to the next generation. As a result, it plays a massive role in improving the quality of care and patient experience. Some of the interventions that the nurse may use in this case include sensor alarms, training and education program for nurses, and sensitization of patients.


Ultimately, the crux of the paper is that nursing theories play an important part in shaping up the nursing practice. Nurses seek the help of these theories to have an appropriate decision making process. Nurses use these theories to improve the quality of services that they offer to the patients. At the same time, they also get to enhance their skills and become more relevant for their profession. This paper elaborated upon Jean Watson theory of human caring. The four key elements of the theory are:- human beings, health, society, and nursing practice.

Published first in 1979, the theory provides a definition for these elements. Apart from this, it suggests that care and support to patients is the core responsibility of nurses. They need to build on the already available knowledge based and make sure that the patients improve due to the care provided by them. At the same time, the nurses also need to help their peers to make the industry more effective in terms of delivering the right care to the needy patients.


Alligood, M. R. (2013). Nursing Theory-E-Book: Utilization & Application. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Arslan‐Özkan, İ., Okumuş, H., & Buldukoğlu, K. (2014). A randomized controlled trial of the effects of nursing care based on Watson’s Theory of Human Caring on distress, self‐efficacy, and adjustment in infertile women. Journal of advanced nursing, 70(8), 1801-1812.

Morrow, M. (2014). Caring Science, Mindful Practice Implementing Watson’s Human Caring Theory, by K. Sitzman and J. Watson.(New York: Springer, 2014). Nursing science quarterly, 27(3), 263-264.

Ozan, Y. D., & Okumuş, H. (2017). Effects of Nursing Care Based on Watson’s Theory of Human Caring on Anxiety, Distress, And Coping, When Infertility Treatment Fails: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Caring Sciences, 6(2), 95-109.

Pajnkihar, M., & Vrbnjak, D. (2017). Fit for Practice: Analysis and Evaluation of Watson’s Theory of Human Caring. Nursing Science Quarterly, 30(3), 243-252.

Sitzman, K., & Watson, J. (2013). Caring science, mindful practice: Implementing Watson’s human caring theory. Springer Publishing Company.

Yeter Durgun Ozan PhD, B. S. N. (2015). Implementation of Watson’s Theory of Human Caring: A Case Study. International Journal of Caring Sciences, 8(1), 25.