Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Nursing Theory’

Palliative Care Nursing: A Concept Analysis

The current featured ANS article is titled “A Concept Analysis of Palliative Care Nursing: Advancing Nursing Theory” by Amanda J. Kirkpatrick, MSN, RN-BC; Mary Ann Cantrell, PhD, RN, FAAN; and Suzanne C. Smeltzer, EdD, RN, FAAN. The article is available for download at no cost while it is featured, and we welcome your comments about the article here!  Here is a message from Amanda Kirpatrick about her work:

When I first graduated with my BSN and began working as a nurse I quickly realized how unprepared I felt to deliver palliative care to seriously ill patients, and to handle patient issues surrounding the end of life. I am now an experienced nurse and nurse educator who teaches students about the importance of early referral to palliative care to ensure that patients receive the best symptom

Amanda J. Kirkpatrick

management and achieve the highest quality of life possible while managing a serious life-limiting illness. In support of this aim, and as part of my doctoral studies, I began researching how nurses attain competence in palliative care nursing. I discovered that there was a gap in the literature related to palliative care nursing theory, and determined that a concept analysis of palliative care nursing (using Walker and Avant’s methodology) was needed. I believed a concept analysis was the best way to identify the antecedents of palliative care nursing competence, as well as to clearly describe the nursing behaviors that demonstrate that palliative care nursing competence is achieved.

This concept analysis is very timely considering the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (AACN) January 2016 release of 17 Competencies and Recommendations for Educating Undergraduate Nursing Students (CARES) for Preparing Nurses to Care for the Seriously Ill and their Families. This concept analysis fills an international knowledge gap in the theoretical understanding of palliative care nursing, which currently limits the potential for nursing education and research in this area. Establishing a clear understanding of how palliative care nursing competence is developed and translates into practice holds value for nurses who implement this important care, nursing educators who must prepare these nurses to meet the AACN competencies, and researchers investigating palliative care nursing practice.

Middle range theory in the making: You gotta’ stay with it and you gotta’ pass it on

Our latest featured article from the current ANS issue is titled “Middle Range Theory: A Perspective on Development and Use” by Patricia Liehr, PhD, RN and Mary Jane Smith, PhD, RN, FAAN. Both authors are long-time contributors to ANS and in this article they examine the journey of developing middle range theory that is solidly situated within nursing’s disciplinary persepective and ultimately bringing it to the interdisciplinary table. This article is available for download at no cost on the ANS website while it is featured.  Here is a message that the authors provided for ANS blog readers, followed by a short video that Dr. Liehr and her doctoral students created, talking about the nature of middle-range theory:

We are going to tell you our story as it relates to this paper. Often when we use a story path that focuses on the present…the past….and the future.

At PRESENT, we invite you to read and share your thoughts about “Middle range theory: A perspective on development

Mary Jane Smith (L) & Patricia Liehr (R)

Mary Jane Smith (L) and Patricia Liehr (R)

and use” in the current issue of ANS. We are honored to be in this retrospective issue.

Moving to PAST, we first met and engaged with each other in 1979-1980 as teacher (Smith) – student (Liehr) while Liehr was in her Masters program at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

During a period of about 20 years, as we began to learn more about middle range theory as a guide for practice and research, we saw the need for a state of the science manuscript. This was the impetus for the 1999 paper published in ANS “Middle range theory: Spinning research and practice to create knowledge for the new millennium.”

The 1999 paper in ANS was the impetus for our textbook, Middle Range Theory for Nursing, first published in 2003. The book was written to create a resource for scholars wishing to use middle range theory in practice and research.

The 1999 paper was also the impetus for this 2017 paper, allowing us to consider middle range theory through the lens set forth nearly 20 years ago.

And now, the FUTURE….the 4th edition of Middle Range Theory for Nursing is in the works and we continue to teach students about the usefulness of middle range theory. We are offering a short video recording of current PhD students at Florida Atlantic University, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing who are considering the relevance of middle range theory as they immerse in developing ideas to guide their research.

The foremost recommendation in “Middle range theory: A perspective on development and use” is to “stay with the theory”. We believe that persistence and scholarly engagement over time has the potential to effectively shape disciplinary knowledge. Our story highlights and brings to life this belief. Thank you for sharing blog-time with us.

Patricia Liehr and Mary Jane Smith


New ANS issue released today: Emerging Theories for Practice

The January-March issue of ANS focusing on emerging theories for practice is now available!   Nursing models, theories and philosophic frameworks have been emerging for over 50 years. But they have not always been welcomed as relevant to nursing practice. Part of the disconnect lies in what “theory” is thought to be. My own favorite definition of “theory” is “a vision – a mental construction of what could be in human experience.  In nursing, these mental constructions provide a roadmap, a path to follow in shaping human experience toward wholeness and well-being.  This issue of ANS includes current thinking in nursing that clarifies how and why nursing theories are essential to XLargeThumb.00012272-201401000-00000.CVnursing practice, and articles that illustrate current theoretical developments in nursing.  Most important I believe this issue of ANS points in the direction of meaningful connections between theory, research and practice.

The first article in this issue was published ahead of print, and it is now our first featured article!  The article is titled “Particularizing the General: Sustaining Theoretical Integrity in the Context of an Evidence-Based Practice Agenda” by Sally Thorne, PhD, RN, FAAN, FCAHS and Richard Sawatzky, PhD, RN.  Dr. Thorne and Dr. Sawatzky have extended their discussion of the “evidence” debate with a message for ANS blog readers that we featured in December when it was published ahead of print.

We will be featuring each of the articles over the time that this issue is current, so “follow” this blog to have our blog features with messages from the authors!

Development of a theory of compassion

The current issue of ANS focuses on the topic “Critique and Replication.”  Dr. Jane Georges’ article in this issue illustrates a “long view” account of how ideas evolve over time.  Her various publications over the years may have seemed unrelated to one another  – articles on suffering, biopower, Nazi Germany nurses – but in fact each aspect of her work has contributed to an evolving theoretical development.  She reports the evolution of this theory in the currently featured article that appears in this issue of ANS. Dr. Georges has shared for this blog the experience of her work, and pays tribute to the students and colleagues who have contributed to the development of her ideas:

The relational nature of nursing is what is most precious to me and informs my work most deeply. Wherever we practice- as clinicians, educators, or administrators- the bonds we share with our fellow nurses are strong and indissoluble. I call it the nurse-nurse bond. The compassion we show for each other can and does carry us through the most unimaginable experiences everyday, everywhere. When asked about the source from which my work in compassion emerges, I always respond that it is the love and caring of my nurse colleagues. I have been so very blessed to have compassionate helpers in my journey. From the outstanding faculty at the University of California San Francisco School of Nursing in the 1970’s to the superb researchers in my PhD program at the University of Washington School of Nursing, I have been shown the difference that compassion makes. Looking back at my scholarly work during the past decade, I owe so very much to my students at the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science at the University of San Diego. I couldn’t have done this work without your wisdom, encouragement, and vision. You have taught me what compassion really looks like. It looks like nurses who work for 12 long hours in unimaginable environments, then come to class eager to learn about strategies to improve health care. It looks like nurses from diverse backgrounds that work hard to forge bonds of community in a classroom. It looks like nurses who read Advances in Nursing Science deeply and discuss it passionately. In short, compassion looks like YOU.

Dr. Georges (green jacket) with a group of students

Dr. Georges (green jacket) with a group of students

The networks of that we develop in our communities are significant, and influence the ongoing development of nursing knowledge.  This blog provides an avenue for all ANS readers to participate in this community.  W welcome your comments, questions and perspectives!

From the Author: Lynn Rew

It is a pleasure to introduce Lynn Rew, lead author on one of my Edtitor’s Picks for the current issue.  I suspect that most ANS readers have had some connection to the experience of adolescence, either personally or professionally!  The current “Editor’s Pick” article by Lynn Rew and her colleagues Diane Tyler, Nina Fredland and Dana Hannah reports a research study that sheds light on changes that occur during this highly-charged experience.  Their research provides significant evidence that can guide nursing practice, research and theory development.  Their article is titled “Adolescents’ Concerns as They Transition Through High School”, and while it is featured you can download it for free from the ANS Web site!

Here is a message from Dr. Rew about her experiences of working with adolescents, and some background on the experience of conducting this study:

Not everyone shares my enthusiasm for studying adolescents. Having been an adolescent and parenting two adolescents, I am always curious about how they  change so rapidly and adapt (or not) to these changes. I want to know what adolescents are thinking and doing and why. I began with a longitudinal study of pre-adolescents (4-6thgraders) and found that, for the most part, they engaged in health and safety behaviors; however, when they made the transitions from grade school to middle school and then to high school, many of these behaviors were replaced with what I called health-risk behaviors.

Data for this article came from a longitudinal study of over 1200 adolescents who reside in rural areas in central Texas. For the analysis, I assembled a team that included two family nurse practitioners and a pediatric nurse practitioner.  We met often to determine how we would analyze the written responses of these kids to the prompt, “My main concern is . . .” This writing experience was fun and exciting, not only because we enjoyed reading and interpreting these responses, but also we began to recognize strengths and talents in each other that we hadn’t known before.

Faculty often complain that there is never enough time to write, but when you have a team of nurses who are willing to learn, not only from analyzing the data, but also from each other, writing becomes a joy! I was blessed to be part of such a team.

“Editor’s Picks” available now!

We have added a new feature to the ANS web site … Editor’s Picks from the current issue.  The Editor’s Picks will change every couple of weeks, and while an article is featured, it will be available for a free download!  Each week I will post information on this blog about one of the articles on the current “Editor’s Picks” list, giving some background and information about the article that I believe makes the article important for our readers.

Barbara Reigel (University of Pennsylvania), with her colleagues from Sweden Tiny Jaarsma and Anna Strömberg (Linköping University) are the authors of one of our first features, titled “A Middle-Range Theory of Self-Care of Chronic Illness.”  The theory was developed from self-care studies that the authors have conducted in several countries around the world; the article cites the studies so that you can trace the specific evidence on which the theory is based.

The authors address a central concern of nursing practice – the nature of the relationship between a nurse and a patient.  They explain the connection between that relationship and self-care of chronic illness as follows:   “When providers interact with patients their intention is that the partnership they form will motivate patients to engage in self-care that can be incorporated into their lifestyle. It is within this context of a mutually rewarding relationship that the self-care of chronic illness takes place.”

This theory was developed from sound research evidence, and in turn it provides an important resource to guide nursing practice.  It is based on deep analysis and clarification of some of the most persistent challenges that nurses face in building relationships with people living with chronic illness. This article  is an exemplar of one approach to the development of nursing theory that serves to guide nursing practice.

Check out the article now and add your ideas and thoughts about this article by replying to this post!  I look forward to hearing from you!

Future Table of Contents – Transitions

I just posted the Table of Contents for the September issue of ANS (Vol 35:3) on the web site!  There will be 14 articles in this issue.  All will be online; and about half will be in the paper volume.

The concept of transitions has been a significant focus for nursing scholars for several decades. Afaf Meleis, who has been a member of the ANS advisory board for many years, was a leader in articulating a theory of transitions for nursing.  Her work has provided a foundation for many of the scholars whose work appears in this issue of the journal.  These articles provide a rich range of approaches to the conceptualization of this phenomenon in a variety of settings, with several different population groups, and with important implications for practice. Taken together, the articles provide a thought-provoking collection representing the best of nursing scholarship.

Take a look at the titles that will be in this issue.  Several of the articles will be published ahead of print, and available for download when they appear in the “Published Ahead of Print” section of the web site.  And of course all of the articles will be available as soon as the publication date arrives – early in September 2012!

%d bloggers like this: