Importance Of Nursing Theories

The compassionate hands that heal sick patients back to the pink of health while consistently observing their core vitals, administering medicines, and empathetically supporting and educating patients’ families, are that of a member of the nursing community. 

Doctors treat a patient but a nurse heals one. A few hundred years have passed since nurses have helped the healthcare sector grow and they are indispensable pillars of support that offer patient care. Nurses are always desired with the rising needs of the population and the need for educated hands in this profession. It is a pivotal movement for nurses who would like to steer their career to allied fields where the skills of an experienced nurse are essential. 

Apart from the grilling nursing programs that prepare registered nurses with clinical lessons and practical exposure through rotations, nurses prepare themselves to brace their day after mastering the Fundamentals of Nursing Theory.

In the current day, nurses have numerous career prospects which include leveraged use of technology to provide patient care in all circumstances. Sometimes even virtual media is used through telehealth platforms to provide the best possible care for the patient. With advanced technology in play, nurses can efficiently handle the patient load to provide an effective career. These factors aid in increasing the life expectancy of the population where skilled nurses serve in hospitals and clinics. 

Nursing theories usage

Nursing theories are like torch-bearing guides to help the professional deliver quality care. Using the approach and tenets stated in these theories, nurses can steer and articulate their methods of handling patients. It defines how a nurse should use their personality, the surrounding environment, core clinicals skills, and possible resources to provide the best care in the given circumstances to needy patients. 

In this age of evidence-based clinical practices, nursing-guided theories were tested for efficacy and relevance. After initial screening, it was found that nursing theory’s guided interventions helped in improving the quality of life, self-sufficiency, care, and stress of patients with chronic ailments. 

All over the world, nursing theories are still prevalent practices and new nurses who adopt the guided practice alongside other practices, have been able to deliver compassionate care to their patients in their sickness. 

Tenets of nursing theories

Nurses are different from medical doctors. Their core competency relies on knowledge, skills, and their ability to understand the tenets of nursing theories which are structures based on which nurses comprehend why and what they do. Unless a nurse understands the importance of what they are doing and why they are doing it, they will not be able to execute how they do it. And all these elements are core foundations of nursing theories. A few tenets that are covered by different nursing theories are: 

  • Philosophy

The core beliefs of the nursing profession that defines its values and perception form the structure of any professional group or discipline. The nursing philosophy spells out the values, ethics, and beliefs that professional members own. It is also the motivational statement of the profession and covers the education, values, and ethics of patient care for nurses from their perspective. 

  • Theory

Nursing theory is a structure of ideas that define phenomena in a sequential and systematic method. With continued practice and application of systematic inquiry, nurses stay relevant in improving the standards of patient care. 

  • Concepts

The four concepts of nursing are based on the person, environment, health, and nursing. A nurse has to understand not just the clinical but also other factors that can impact the treatment of patients like their cultural, psychological, and social conditions. Likewise, the environment in which the treatment plan is executed is important. It has to be a well-lit area with enough room for air circulation for the recovery of patients. The health conditions of the patient are an important preface based on which the treatment plan needs to be executed. And last but the most important part is the nurses themselves. A nurse attending to a patient has to be qualified and experienced enough to handle a patient independently or assist another nurse if one is still in the training period.  

  • Representative models

Models of nursing represent the concepts that have worked in tandem with a certain theory. It represents the pattern in which nursing practices can be effective and is an overview of the critical thinking steps used by nurses in a clinical setting.

History of nursing theories

Theories in the nursing profession were developed and advocated by nurses and some of them were from the early 1800s. The future of nursing will also witness many people who will propose theories and demonstrate them through whitepapers. Using their core skills, knowledge, and experience nurses have always set out the principles which now have formed the framework of nursing theories. 

Some of the nursing theories that were opined by nurses are listed chronologically here:

  • Florence Nightingale

Nicknamed the ‘lady with a lamp’, Florence Nightingale was a statistician and nurse who defined environmental theory in nursing. Here it was proposed to use the patient’s environment to assist in recovery. 

  • The professional body of knowledge

In the mid-1950s, there was consensus among practicing nurses and nursing educators that the profession had to be treated as a separate body of knowledge and a practicing science with formal education, pedagogy, and clinical exposure in training. 

  • Interpersonal skills

Nurses use their communication and body language to treat their patients. They are tough psychologically and prepare themselves each day for rough patches where they encounter the pain and trauma of patients. Yet through the theory of interpersonal relations, they can heal the patients, distract them from their pain and motivate them to try harder to endure the treatment with positivity. 


The new-age nurses have the advantage of technically advanced machines and improved clinical spaces that will aid them in administering their duties with ease. However, nurses still need to rely on the theories that have shaped them to take up this profession where compassion is an inherent advantage. 

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