Nursing can be considered as a science whose development has been influenced by theory. Nursing has been dominated by an emphasis on the development of theory. In a critical view, these developments in theory display how consistently nursing has developed with time. Therefore, the development of the nursing knowledge can be studied on a philosophical view and thus show how this development has taken place and how it influences nursing as a science.
Due to the practicality of nursing, as a science, its development draws theory from other various disciplines and thus the practice of nursing combines nursing research. If theory and philosophy were redefined, taking into consideration a new nursing philosophical perspective, then nursing practice and theory would be merged. This shows that what is known as a gap of significance between the two would be closed.
Further philosophy influences the development of nursing knowledge in that research leads to the provision of knowledge that is essential in interventions of nurses, patient education and training. Therefore, through this, the nursing theory is strengthened and this also shows the relation between nursing theory and nursing practice. According to the theory of nursing, nursing describes, predicts and prescribes different aspects. For example, this can be about a person, and their health. There are different theories of nursing and one of these is the Ernestine Wiedenbach theory (Sitzman & Eichelberger, 2010).
This is the theory which describes nursing as an art of helping. This is a philosophy which shows that nursing is a way of making care individualized. Therefore, nurses should meet the needs of their patients at personal levels. This can be achieved by way of observing the patients behavior, and understanding them. Through this, the nurse then identifies what causes the discomfort in their patient and thus will determine if the patient needs individualized help or can be able to solve the problem if left on their own.
In any discipline, science and theory greatly contribute to knowledge development. In nursing, knowledge is acquired and assimilated by each person in the profession and generally by the whole profession. Knowledge in nursing has been acquired in many ways. These include traditions, experience, mentor ship, research and reasoning. However, this knowledge needs to be validated and this can mainly be done by means of research. Philosophy is the most conceptual element in nursing (Rodgers, 2005). This is because it gives meaning to nursing.
Further, philosophy offers a way in which people get to know by means of thinking and then act. Thus philosophy in nursing greatly influences research and thereby knowledge which is developed in this discipline.
Risjord, M.W. (2009). Nursing Knowledge: Science, Practice, and Philosophy. John Wiley and Sons.
Rodgers, B.L. (2005) Developing nursing knowledge: philosophical traditions and influences. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Sitzman, K. & Eichelberger, L.W. (2010). Understanding the Work of Nurse Theorists: A Creative Beginning. 2nd Ed. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
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