NR501 Week 1 Discussion: Importance of Theory in Nursing – Online Nursing Essays

NR501 Week 1 Discussion: Importance of Theory in Nursing

Week 1 DQ 1: Nursing Theories

Based on the required readings for this week, previous lessons and experience as a nurse, it is evident that nursing theory is necessary for nurses to offer quality care and navigate patient needs in the ever transforming and complex nursing profession. Nursing theory provides a framework that guides the nursing practice in using concepts and relationships in patient evaluations and interventions (Butts & Rich, 2018). If nursing practice lacked theory, possibly, there will be loss of separation and clear distinction of the profession. Society has historically considered nursing as a vocational occupation and not a profession where nurses are expected to carry orders by physicians and clinical officers, especially in developing countries, without any form of accountability. However, through the development of theory as proposed by Nightingale in her notes over a century back, nursing is now an evolving profession and academic discipline as well as a science. Pioneers in the profession established nursing theories and models to emphasize the role of nursing profession in enhancing patient outcomes and quality healthcare delivery. Nurses possess critical thinking and scientific knowledge as well as ideas that they can use to improve patient care delivery (Gilbert, 2020). They can develop individualized interventions focused on health promotion, disease prevention and long-term care for patients with terminal conditions.

Nursing theories help to instill identity in nurses, enabling patients and other healthcare providers and professionals as well as managers to appreciate nurses’ roles and individual contributions to healthcare promotion and patient quality care. Nursing theories allow nurses to offer patient-centered care, utilize evidence-based practice interventions in health promotion, and development of professional values and work ethics to attain better patient outcomes (Younas & Quennell, 2019). Nursing theory empowers nurses to understand the transforming health system, address the expanding care demand and improve professional knowledge and skills to attain better patient care. Evidence shows that the use of theory provides structure and organization to nursing knowledge and offers a systemic means of collecting information and data to describe, explain, and predict trends that will shape the nursing practice like the increased of health technologies through telemedicine among others.


Butts, B. J. & Rich, L. K. (2018). Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing

practice (3rd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Gilbert, H. A. (2020). Florence Nightingale’s Environmental Theory and its influence on

contemporary infection control. Collegian, 27(6), 626–633.

Younas, A., & Quennell, S. (2019). Usefulness of nursing theory‐guided practice: an integrative

review. Scandinavian journal of caring sciences, 33(3), 540-555.

DOI: 10.1111/scs.12670.



Week 1: Nursing Theory (Orig Post Due Wednesday, Responses Due Sunday)

This is a graded discussion: 75 points possible


Due Jan 15

Week 1: Nursing Theory (Orig Post Due Wednesday, Responses Due Sunday)

77 unread replies.77 replies.


The purpose of the graded collaborative discussions is to engage faculty and students in an interactive dialogue to assist the student in organizing, integrating, applying, and critically appraising knowledge regarding advanced nursing practice. Scholarly information obtained from credible sources as well as professional communication are required. Application of information to professional experiences promotes the analysis and use of principles, knowledge, and information learned and related to real-life professional situations. Meaningful dialogue among faculty and students fosters the development of a learning community as ideas, perspectives, and knowledge are shared.


Activity Learning Outcomes

Through this discussion, the student will demonstrate the ability to:


Demonstrate logical and creative thinking in the analysis and application of a theory to nursing practice. (PO 2 and 5) Weeks 2, 6

Examine broad theoretical concepts as foundational to advanced nursing practice roles. (PO 1 and 2) Weeks 1, 2, 4

Analyze theories from nursing and relevant fields with respect to the components, relationship among the components, and application to advanced nursing practice. (PO 1) Weeks 4, 6

Due Date:

A 10% late penalty will be imposed for discussions posted after the deadline on Wednesday, regardless of the number of days late. NOTHING will be accepted after 11:59pm MT on Sunday (i.e. student will receive an automatic 0). Week 8 discussion closes on Saturday at 11:59pm MT.


Total Points Possible:  75


Discussion Criteria


Application of Course Knowledge: The student post contributes unique perspectives or insights gleaned from personal experience or examples from the healthcare field. The student must accurately and fully discuss the topic for the week in addition to providing personal or professional examples. The student must completely answer the entire initial question.

Engagement in Meaningful Dialogue: The student responds to a student peer and course faculty to further dialogue.

Peer Response: The student responds substantively to at least one topic-related post by a student peer. A substantive post adds content or insights or asks a question that will add to the learning experience and/or generate discussion.

A post of “I agree” with a repeat of the other student’s post does not count as a substantive post. A collection of shallow posts does not equal a substantive post.

The peer response must occur on a separate day from the initial posting.

The peer response must occur before Sunday, 11:59 p.m. MT.

Faculty Response: The student responds substantively to at least one question by course faculty. The faculty question may be directed to the student, to another student, or to the entire class.

A post of “I agree” with a repeat of the faculty’s post does not count as a substantive post. A collection of shallow posts does not equal a substantive post.

The faculty response must occur on a separate day from the initial posting.

Integration of Evidence: The student post provides support from a minimum of one scholarly in-text citation with a matching reference and assigned readings or online lessons, per discussion topic per week.

What is a scholarly resource? A scholarly resource is one that comes from a professional, peer-reviewed publication (e.g., journals and government reports such as those from the FDA or CDC).

Contains references for sources cited

Written by a professional or scholar in the field and indicates credentials of the author(s)

Is no more than 5 years old for clinical or research articles

What is not considered a scholarly resource?

Newspaper articles and layperson literature (e.g., Readers Digest, Healthy Life Magazine, Food, and Fitness)

Information from Wikipedia  or any wiki


Website homepages

The weekly lesson

Articles in healthcare and nursing-oriented trade magazines, such as Nursing Made Incredibly Easy and RNMagazine (Source: What is a scholarly article.docx; Created 06/09 CK/CL  Revised: 02/17/11,  09/02/11  nlh/clm)

Can the lesson for the week be used as a scholarly source?

Information from the weekly lesson can be cited in a posting; however, it is not to be the sole source used in the post.

Are resources provided from CU acceptable sources (e.g., the readings for the week)?

Not as a sole source within the post. The textbook and/or assigned (required) articles for the week can be used, but another outside source must be cited for full credit. Textbooks are not considered scholarly sources for the purpose of discussions.

Are websites acceptable as scholarly resources for discussions?

Yes, if they are documents or data cited from credible websites. Credible websites usually end in .gov or .edu; however, some .org sites that belong to professional associations (e.g., American Heart Association, National League for Nursing, American Diabetes Association) are also considered credible websites. Websites ending with .com are not to be used as scholarly resources.

Professionalism in Communication: The post presents information in logical, meaningful, and understandable sequence, and is clearly relevant to the discussion topic. Grammar, spelling, and/or punctuation are accurate.

Wednesday Participation Requirement: The student provides a substantive response to the graded discussion question(s) or topic(s), posted by the course faculty (not a response to a peer), by Wednesday, 11:59 p.m. MT of each week.

Total Participation Requirement: The student provides at least three substantive posts (one to the initial question or topic, one to a student peer, and one to a faculty question) on two different days during the week.

Preparing the Assignment


For many students enrolled in NR501, this is an initial course for nursing theory. So, let’s have a debate. Is nursing theory important to the nursing profession? In particular, is it important for nurse practitioners? Does theory inform nurse practitioner practice? If you believe that it is important, explain why it is useful. If you do not believe that it is useful, explain why nursing theory is not necessary to the profession?












Application of Course Knowledge:








Answers the initial discussion question(s)/topic(s), demonstrating knowledge and understanding of the concepts for the week.




Engagement in Meaningful Dialogue With Peers and Faculty








Responds to a student peer and course faculty furthering the dialogue by providing more information and clarification, adding depth to the conversation


Integration of Evidence






Assigned readings or online lesson and at least one outside scholarly source are included. The scholarly source is:


  • Evidence-based, 2) scholarly in nature, 3) published within the last 5 years








Total CONTENT Points= 60 pts












Grammar and Communication






Presents information using clear and concise language in an organized manner


Reference Citation






References have complete information as required by APA


In-text citations included for all references  and references included for all in-text citation








Total FORMAT Points= 15 pts










**To see view the grading criteria/rubric, please click on the 3 dots in the box at the end of the solid gray bar above the discussion board title and then Show Rubric.


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