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J Adv Nurs. 1997 Jul;26(1):138-45.

Theory-based nursing practice.

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Harris College of Nursing, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, USA.


Theory provides nurses with a perspective with which to view client situations, a way to organize the hundreds of data bits encountered in the day-to-day care of clients, and a way to analyse and interpret the information. A theoretical perspective allows the nurse to plan and implement care purposefully and proactively. When nurses practice purposefully and systematically, they are more efficient, have better control over the outcomes of their care, and are better able to communicate with others. Health care agencies can designate a specific nursing theory to guide the nursing practice within the entire organization. The critical component in choosing a nursing theory for an organization is the 'fit' between the philosophical assumptions of the organization and the theory. Modelling and role-modelling, a theory and paradigm for nursing, can be implemented in any setting. Hospice is a concept of care, not a place. Hospice care illustrates the excellent 'fit' between an existing philosophy of care and theory-based nursing practice. The 'fit' is based on the similarity of the philosophical assumptions of hospice and the nursing theory of modelling and role-modelling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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