The progress in the development of theoretical nursing is definable in terms of seven stages. Each of this stage has helped nurses come close to identifying the domain of nursing, to defining its mission, and defining its theoretical base. The development of the discipline of nursing is tied to its theoretical development. Without its development, the practice of nursing would remain to where Florence Nightingale left it ??? in the stage of practice. a. Stage of Practice, Apprenticeship and Service.
During this stage the mission of nursing was defined as providing care and comfort to enhance healing and sense of well-being and to create a healthy environment that helps decrease suffering and deterioration. Nurses defined their domain to include the patient and the environment in which the care is offered. b. Stage of Education and Administration. The focus of nursing is on what curriculum to develop and what training programs to offer to teach nursing practice.
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Almost three decades were spent experimenting with different curricula, ways of preparing teachers, modes of educating administrators for schools of nursing and for service, and ways of preparing nurse practitioners. c. Stage of Research. The momentum in nursing education, curriculum development, teaching and learning strategies, and in administration also led educators to an interest in research. Experts in nursing curricula recognized that without research and a systematic inquiry into, for example, the different teaching/learning modalities and the teaching/learning milieu on outcomes, education of nurses could not be improved.
Nurses began to engage in nursing inquiries and scientific endeavors. It was also during this stage when nurse researchers started to give emphasis on scientific syntax ??? the process rather than the content of the research. d. Stage of Theory. The fundamental questions about the essence of nursing, its mission and its goals began to surface in a more organized way. An incisive group of leaders, nurses who believed that theory should guide the practice of nursing, wrote about the need for theory, the nature of nursing theory, philosopher’s views of the theory, and how nursing theory ought to be shaped. . Stage of Philosophy. As nurses began reflecting on the conceptual aspects of nursing practice, on defining the domain of nursing, and on the most appropriate methods for knowledge development, they turned into philosophical inquiries. f. Stage of Integration. This stage is characterized by dialogues and discussions related to structures such as nursing, science, theories, philosophy, clinical knowledge and nursing specialties. This stage marks the development of educational programs that are organized around integration of theory, research and practice.
It is during this stage that members of specialty areas develop theories related to their fields. A final characteristic of this stage is the systematic reappraisal of philosophical and theoretical underpinning that have guided the definitions and the conceptualization of the central concepts of the domain of nursing. g. Stage of Interdisciplinary. It is characterized by dialogues and discussions related to structures such as nursing, science, theories, philosophy, clinical knowledge, nursing specialties.
This stage marked the development of educational programs that were organized around the integration of theory, research, and practice. The members of the specialty areas developed theories related to their fields. A characteristic of this stage is the systematic reappraisal of philosophical and theoretical underpinning that have guided the definitions and the conceptualization of the central concepts of the domain of nursing.