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Nursing Theory Essay

801 words - 4 pages

Nursing Theory Development
Stephanie Woina
St Joseph’s College of Maine

Nursing Theory Development
The nursing world is abundant with different theories to guide people through nursing practice. Each theory varies depending on the theorist and their knowledge base in nursing. The nursing profession has grown and changed since the days of Florence nightingale and the stages of nursing theory development reflect this.
The initial stage of nursing theory, the silent knowledge stage lasted from the 1860s up until WWII. Once the American Medical Association realized the relationship between nursing and patients’ health, formal training for nurses began in 1872 at the New England ...view middle of the document...

During this time period there were critical nursing shortages due to decreased enrollment in nursing school and an increase in the number of hospitals (McEwen & Wills, 2011). In 1948 Esther Brown reported that “the current model of nursing education was central to the problems of the profession and recommended that efforts be made to focus nursing education in universities, with formal education, as opposed to the apprenticeship system that existed in most hospital programs” (McEwen & Wills, 2011, p. 28). By 1949 most of the United States required licensure testing for nurses which created a need for a model standardized education in nursing programs. Graduate programs began to emerge to allow nurses to further their education and integrate ideas from other disciplines such as teaching and philosophy into nursing practice. Nurses were now starting to develop their own ideas about nursing and not simply follow what they had been previously taught (McEwen & Wills, 2011).
Throughout the 1950s many nursing theories were developed and the focus of nursing shifted from a mostly scientific basis to focus on the interpersonal relationships between nurses and patients. This brought about the subjective knowledge stage of nursing theory development (McEwen & Wills, 2011). Hildegard Peplau was the first to recognize the need for interpersonal relationships between the nurse and patient. Peplau used her experiences in psychiatric nursing to teach that patients were people and they were to be interacted with and not just observed from afar (Parker & Smith, 2010). During...

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