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Can J Nurs Adm. 1991 Mar-Apr;4(1):6-10.

Attitudes of practicing nurses towards theory-based nursing practice.


Theory-based nursing practice is a topic of current importance in Canadian nursing settings. Both the CNA and provincial regulating bodies have included the concept in their standards of practice. Current nursing education programs based on nursing models have produced a growing cadre of nurses familiar with formal nursing theory. However, practicing nurses' exposure to nursing theories varies and this population has not been systematically investigated. As part of a larger study, responses of 362 nurses from three Ontario cities to the Nursing Theories Questionnaire revealed a moderately positive attitude towards theory-based nursing practice. Attitudes were significantly more positive among nurses working in agencies which had implemented theory-based practice. Nurses believed that theory-based practice would help them collect useful data, plan comprehensive care, would result in better care, should not be left for nurse scholars and was important to the development of the nursing profession. Nurses were most familiar with theories of Neuman, Orem and Roy; least familiar with Parse and Rogers. Community nurses preferred Neuman's theory; hospital nurses preferred those of Roy and Orem. These findings provide information about factors associated with nurses' knowledge and attitudes towards theory-based nursing practice and may be useful for nurse administrators in planning strategies for implementing theory-based practice.

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