Nursing is a profession that needs to continually grow to meet the changes and demands of the society. The growth of nursing will involve nursing theory and evidence-based practice. This paper will discuss how nursing theory will continue to influence nursing professions, evidence-based practice trends in healthcare and future of nursing and the roles of nurses with research and how the new roles and opportunities with benefit nursing and healthcare. According to “Nursing-Theory.org” (n.d.), “ nursing theory is an organized framework of concepts and purposes designed to guide the practice of nursing”. There are several theories that nurses can apply to their practice. It can be a multiple theory that nurses can use in their daily work. This theory should coincide with the area of specialty where nurses are working and taking care of patients. Chitty & Black (2010) defined theory as group of related concepts, statements and definitions that describe a certain view of nursing phenomena from which can explain, describe or predict outcomes. Why is nursing theory very important?
First, nursing as a profession is reinforced when a nursing knowledge is based on sound theory (Chitty & Black, 2010). Second, theory is needed tools for nurses to reason, critical think and make decisions (Chitty & Black, 2010). Theory will assist nurses as a framework in doing their daily job responsibilities. This will help a novice nurse to be expert nurse. Theory guides nurses in helping organizing and analyzing data, deciding interventions and interpreting outcomes from the interventions provided. Nurses establish nursing theories. Nurses use nursing theory that suits their everyday care. They can use several theories and at times theses theories overlap with each other
The growth of nursing profession depends on the continued recognition of nursing as a scholarly academic discipline that contributes to the society (Chitty & Black, 2010). With this statement the nursing theory will continue to influence professional nursing practice because nursing theory is a component of the evidence-based practice. What is evidence-based practice? Evidence-based practice (EBP) definition varies among areas of discipline. For nursing, according to Spector (n.d.), ” Evidence based practice is the integration of the best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values”. The goal of EBP is to offer practicing nurses evidenced based data to produce meaningful care based on the best research, solve problems in clinical settings, attain excellence in care delivery and surpass quality assurance standards and to introduce new improvements (Spector, n.d.). The EBP movement began with the identification of a problem, the unacceptable gap in what nurses know and what nurses do during care of patients ( Stevens, 2013).
Nurse knows the proper way of washing hands, but does not practice the proper way of washing hands. The nurse can also know the concept of sterile technique but does not practice sterile technique. An alarming report showed that a significant preventable harm to patients was caused by this problem. The distance between what we know to be effective healthcare and what was practiced was to be crossed by using evidence to inform best practices (Stevens, 2013, para ). Nurses are more receptive with EBP because with this they a tool to back them up with the care they are giving. EBP also builds the bridge between what nurses know and what they actually do with their practice. EBP are slowly gaining popularity with nurses. In the near future, there will be several EBP theory because the number of nurses furthering their studies to masteral level are increasing.
According to American Nurse’s Association, all nurses have an obligation to the advancement of nursing science (Blais & Hayes, 2011). The level of education attained by nurses coincides with the activities and role the nurse has. According to Blais and Hayes (2011), associate degree nurses (ADN) help identifies the problem in nursing practice. They also assist in the collection of data. The role of ADN nurses in research is more task oriented. The Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) on the other hand are more investigation based. This is because the BSN curriculum includes research while ADN does not.
According to Blais and Hayes (2011), BSN nurses are able to “identify clinical problems that requires further investigation, assist experienced investigators gain access to clinical sites, influence selection of data collection.” The masteral nurses act as leader for the integration of findings in clinical practice and appraise the clinical relevance of findings while doctoral nurses acquire funds for the research and distribute findings. Nurses with their different nursing educational background provides a very important part of the research from collection of data to distribution of research findings.
Nurse have different role in healthcare. They can be educator, leaders, and researchers. As people are more comfortable with technology, data are more accessible to people. They are mire informed of health benefits compared to 50 years ago. People are more health conscious. Also with the advancement of pharmaceutical medication, society has more access to medicines. Because of this people are living longer compared to 50 years ago. There are more centenarians, people who are 100 years of age (Chitty & Black, 2010). This means that population increase and the need for health care services will also increase. With the recent change to healthcare, there are more people who are able to obtain medical services.
To the fact that there is currently a shortage of physicians, nurses with advance education such as masteral or doctoral are able to step in and provide healthcare. Advanced practice nursing, APN, is umbrella term for nurses who are able to attained advanced clinical and educational practice that is beyond the 2 to 4 years of basic nursing (Chitty & Black, 2010). The APN includes nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialize, certified nurse midwives and certified registered nurse anesthetist. In 2004, there are 240, 461 of RN that are able to work as APN, compared to 196,279 in 2000. It is not a smooth sailing for APN to have autonomy with health care practice. There are still several roadblocks that faces APN’s future. The future depends on state legislature in which should be solve so nurses can help provide healthcare due to shortage of physician.
Nursing profession continues to grow, from Nightingale hand washing theory to a more in-depth evidence-based practice. Nurses are committed to continued education to cope with the changes and innovations that health care undergoes. Nurses will adapt with change that is necessary to provide a maximum care to patients.