Importance of Nursing Theory to Today’s Nursing Practice

The nursing theory refers to the rigorous and creative structuring of ideas and the basic concepts to project a purposeful, tentative, and systematic interpretation of phenomena and define nursing practice. Nursing theories are used to provide the foundational knowledge and principles necessary to enable nurses to provide effective care to their patients and guide their nursing action (Brandão et al., 2019). Nursing theories also provide the basis to set guidelines for specific and broad nursing practices. Additionally, nursing theories are also used to develop best practices and to predict the possible clinical problems within the healthcare system.

According to Brandão et al (2019), nursing theory helps nurses to determine what is known in the nursing field, and what needs to be known in order to improve the provision of care. nursing theories help to differentiate what forms the foundation of practice through the explicit description of nursing. As a result, nursing theories are associated with better patient care; better communication between nurses, and between nurses and patients; and guide nursing research to improve the quality of care. As Salifu et al (2018) explain, nurses use nursing theories to guide and inform quality improvement initiatives in order to improve the quality of care and ensure better patient and care outcomes. Moreover, nurses use the knowledge gained from the nursing theories to ensure better patient outcomes, allow the use of professional boundaries, and also help nurses in decision-making.


Nurses also use nursing theories to facilitate the provision of culturally competent care. For example, Leininger’s culture care theory is used to help and guide nurses to provide culturally competent nursing care via cognitively-based supportive, assistive, facilitative, or enabling decisions that facilitate the provision of personalized and patient-tailored care (McFarland & Wehbe-Alamah, 2019). This is very important because patients present with diverse cultural needs such as communication, values, and spiritual aspects.

Nurses also use nursing theories to improve the nursing environment and assist patients during recovery. For example, Nightingale formed the environment theory to improve the environment and sanitation of nursing care because the nursing environment plays an important role in the patient’s recovery (Thompson & Schwartz, 2017). For example, a hygienic and sterile environment prevents patients from acquiring hospital-acquired infections.

Moreover, nursing theories help nurses to research more and what is required in various nursing situations (Salifu et al., 2018). Therefore, theories provide some additional tools that assist nurses to provide better care to patients. In conclusion, nursing theories enhance the professional standing for nurses and guide and direct nurses during research and education to improve care provision.


Brandão, M. A. G., Barros, A. L. B. L. D., Caniçali Primo, C., Bispo, G. S., & Lopes, R. O. P. (2019). Nursing theories in the conceptual expansion of good practices in nursing. Revista brasileira de enfermagem, 72(2), 577-581.

McFarland, M. R., & Wehbe-Alamah, H. B. (2019). Leininger’s Theory of Culture Care Diversity and Universality: An Overview with a Historical Retrospective and a View Toward the Future. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 30(6), 540-557.

Thompson, M. R., & Schwartz D. (2017). The concept of exposure in environmental health for nursing. Journal of advanced nursing, 73(6), 1315–1330.

Salifu, D. A., Gross, J., Salifu, M. A., & Ninnoni, J. P. (2018). 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.


Describe why nursing theory is important to today\’s nursing practice

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