There is a statement that it is better to have one nursing theory rather than a variety of options to guide education, research, and practice. On the one hand, this approach has a reason and can be supported as an opportunity to facilitate a learning process. On the other hand, it is hard to agree with this idea because alternatives and differences make nursing unique and effective. Regarding differences between patients and healthcare workers, one nursing theory is not enough to identify all care methods and introduce the effective nursing practice.
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Modern nursing education is diverse and complex by its nature. Students have to identify and understand various concepts, learn much new information, and find practical applications to the offered theoretical perspectives (Salifu, Gross, Salifu, & Ninnoni, 2019). Educators, in their turn, must use the most effective techniques to explain the material and make sure all aspects remain clear and helpful. Therefore, when one nursing theory is applied to the whole education process, it seems to be easy to understand the essence of nursing and follow clear instructions and guidelines.
At the same time, nursing is a field with several systems and concepts to be taken into consideration. Even the simplest nursing theory consists of three major concepts – person, environment, and health – which in their turn have some sub-concepts (Black, 2017). In clinical practice, each family and patient have specific demands, needs, and expectations. Some hospitals are provided with all the necessary equipment and human resources, and some facilities still experience certain shortages. Therefore, it is difficult or even impossible to choose one theory and be sure it is effective for nursing practice globally.
Many attitudes towards nursing theories and their extensive presence in education exist. Despite the intentions to facilitate a learning process and decrease the number of concepts and regulations in nursing, one theory to guide education, practice, and research will never be enough. Even if a single theory is finally chosen, its opponents develop critiques and reasons for improvement because some aspects of nursing work are missing or misunderstood regarding the already gained experience and knowledge.
Black, B. (2017). Professional nursing: Concepts & challenges (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
Salifu, D. A., Gross, J., Salifu, M. A., & Ninnoni, J. P. (2019). Experiences and perceptions of the theory‐practice gap in nursing in a resource‐constrained setting: A qualitative descriptive study. Nursing Open, 6(1), 72-83. doi:10.1002/nop2.188