Supporting a Clinical Practice with Theory and Evidence

Welcome to Course

Theoretical Foundation of Advanced Practice Nursing will take you through the process of understanding, using, and evaluating theory to support and enhance professional nursing practice in both basic and advanced venues.  The composition of theory, theories specific to nursing, and ancillary theories will be used to guide you through this process. We will begin by exploring the nature of theory, identifying concepts and propositions, and using our past experience with theories to transfer an understanding of the importance of nursing theories to the practice of nursing and advanced practice nursing.  Once the principles of theory construction are established, we will look at specific nursing theories to identify what they are trying to explain and how they can be used in practice. A deeper understanding of what makes nursing a unique profession and what defines a nursing theory will be explored as we discuss the metaparadigm of nursing in our later discussions. The end result of completing this course will be the ability to take any theory apart and identify its components, use and evaluate the theory in practice, and identify the appropriate theory to use for an application.

Welcome to Week 4

This week will introduce Watson’s Caring Theory as a guide for practice.


Summary: A theory can be used to guide practice.  This assignment is an exercise in supporting a clinical practice with theory and evidence.

Directions: Identify an outcome of nursing practice in your area of practice that can be improved.  For example, if you work in home health, you may identify that throw rug use by fall risk patients is too prevalent.  You may be able to use the problem that inspired the theory concepts that you developed in week two.

Briefly support why it is a problem with evidence from the literature. This is not the major focus of the assignment so do not elaborate.

Create a clinical nursing (not medical) theory in the form Concept A | Proposition | Concept B. Think of the structure like two nouns and a verb. While the term proposition is much more complex in the dictionary, in our use it is the connecting term between the two concepts. Examples include Concept A improves Concept B, Concept A is related to Concept B, when Concept A increases then Concept B also increases, etc. When you get to research, you will explore this further as you develop independent and dependent variables. How to use these statistically will come in research and statistics courses.

This clinical theory is identified as an empirical theory when you get to the C-T-E model later in this course. It is empirical in that they can be measured.

Identify and define your concepts. Identify how they could be measured in a research study. Be careful that you do not use compound concepts. If you find the words “and” or “or” in your theory, you are probably too complex.

If you research your question and seek funding, you will need a theoretical model to guide the research. In our assignment, we are using Watson. You will identify the concepts in Watson’s theories that are represented by the concepts you are using in your clinical theory. Match the proposition in her theory with your proposition. To help, the 10 Caritas Processes are Concept A. Choose the one that matches your concept. To clarify, let’s look at Caritas 1 Embrace and use it in middle-range theory. Sustaining humanistic-altruistic values by the practice of loving-kindness, compassion, and equanimity with self/others (Concept A – Very complex and abstract) improves (Proposition) subjective inner healing (Concept B).

Remember that the paper is not about the problem. It is about constructing a clinical theory and matching it to a middle-range theory and conceptual model your clinical theory represents.

Conclude the paper with your discoveries made in your readings and the impact on the nursing profession of your discoveries. Explore, briefly, discovered questions that require further research. Summarize the paper in the conclusion.

Present your outcome in an APA 7th edition formatted paper that meets the University’s standards for a written assignment.

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