Nursing Sample Paper on Application of Theory

Application of Theory

Nursing theory refers to a set of ideas, explanations, connections, and conjectures or plans drawn from nursing models to develop a premeditated and logical examination of occurrences by devising definite inter-relationships amid perceptions in a bid to illustrate and give a lucid explanation. Nursing theory is a crucial discipline because of the fact that it can be applied in real life in attempt to solve a wide variety of problems in nursing practice irrespective of the specialty area of practice (McEwen & Wills, 2014). One would pick a nursing theory to solve a practice issue because nursing theory seeks to illustrate, project, and explicate a practice issue. Additionally, nursing theory aims at spawning advance understanding of future nursing practice as well as enabling one to make a distinction between what ought to form the basis of practice and what should not by overtly recounting nursing practice. Besides, practitioners rely on nursing theory to improve their practice because they are the bases for testable hypotheses, which are consistent with applicable laws and principles in nursing practice (Jaarsma, Riegel, & Strömberg, 2012). The common and crucial concepts in nursing practice include patients, health, nursing, and the environment, and they are well defined and described in nursing theory, which makes nursing theory a very important subject in nursing practice. Essentially, there are three types of nursing theories including the grand, middle-range, and practice theory (McEwen & Wills, 2014). The best nursing theory is the grand nursing theory and in particular, Orem’s self-care deficit theory, which due to its broad nature in practice concepts and propositions, provides the basis for writing this essay. This theory states that nursing is necessary when a patient or an individual is incapable to carry out incessant self-care effectively.

            Within nursing theory, the grand theory is the most wide-ranging in terms of span of development as far as dealing with a wide assortment of phenomena is concerned. All nursing practices are covered within the grand theory, whereby the conceptual frameworks developed by various grand theorists are all practicable. This is an important aspect in grand theory, which enables practitioners to view nursing practice from multiple and distinct viewpoints to be able to solve a wide array of nursing issues. For instance, Dorothea Orem’s self-care deficit theory is one of the many grand logical theories developed to enhance effective nursing practice in its simplest form. This theory is developed from three basic and independent theories, including the theory of self-care, the self-care deficit theory, and the theory of nursing systems, which when combined, they explicate various aspects to ensure effective nursing practice (Hartweg, 1991). The most crucial aspect of this theory is that it can be applied in a variety of instances in nursing care by helping to devise an efficient and effective nursing care plan to enhance health care practice from both the perspective of a nurse and a patient. The theory is diverse in nature and it is indeed flexible in the sense that it can easily be adapted in various distinct environments by any individual at any point in time.

            There is enormous reliability and validity in the application of Orem’s self-care deficit theory because of the fact that the theory is applicable in various patient situations and nursing care environments (Jaarsma, Riegel, & Strömberg, 2012). In other words, despite the sophistication and difficulty in understanding of most of varying perceptions in this theory, it is the most appropriate and applicable theory among patients and nursing care practitioners. That is, it is focused in helping to improve nursing practice among patients and not necessarily applicable to healthy individuals.

            According to Jaarsma, Riegel, & Strömberg (2012), there is a lucid distinction between general self-care and illness specific self-care. Illness specific self-care exhibits a huge problem among patients with long-term health problems because of lack of understanding of the basic health care practices. Most patients under long-term medication fail to adhere to their medical prescriptions making self-care difficult and ineffective to them. Certainly, self-care has many advantages both to the individual patient and to their families, such as reducing the huge costs of prolonged hospitalization. However, many people do not have the basic information nor do they understand themselves to be able to carry out efficient long-term self-care. Patients suffering from long-term illnesses are unable to employ self-care approach to help themselves go through certain ailments despite the fact that they are able to undertake these activities. This is not because of negligence but because of lack of education and support from the nursing fraternity in a bid to help patients fight their sicknesses.

            As McEwen & Wills (2014) explicate, there is a huge gap in supportive-education system to help individuals maintain effective self-care practices and nurses are unable to tell when a patient requires therapeutic help or when self-care is efficient. The inability to identify specific self-care deficits in a bid to establish the roles of nurses or patients as far as self-care is concerned reveals inefficiencies in applying nursing theory to ensure effective nursing practice both on the part of a healthcare practitioner and on the part of the patient. Certainly, this shows a deficit as far as the application of nursing theory is concerned leading to increased mortality simply because of negligence from the part of nursing practice. Nursing is a process that cannot be achieved by individual efforts but through the help of others stakeholders (Jaarsma, Riegel, & Strömberg, 2012).  

            Self-care is one important health policy, which is widely encouraged in many different parts of the world and societies. Certainly, self-care is the basis of maintaining a healthy living among individuals such as adhering to prescribed medication among other self-care activities (Jaarsma, Riegel, & Strömberg, 2012). Orem’s self-care deficit theory explicates the necessity of nursing practice by stating that when a patient or an individual is incapable to carry out incessant self-care effectively, nursing practice should take over immediately. Traditionally, self-care is a requisite if an individual is to pursue a healthy life by helping them to manage various ailments. According to Orem’s self-care deficit theory, there are certain specific activities that an individual ought to perform in a bid to maintain and manage a healthy life in respect to the type of illness that one is suffering from. Under this theory, Orem reiterates that when a patient is unable to carry out these activities, a nurse should intervene to help the patient through five different methods. These include guiding, acting, supporting, and educating patients as well as adjusting the environment and heartening individual development in a bid to aid patients to be able to take care of themselves (Hartweg, 1991).

            Orem’s self-care theory encourages the availability of health care information in a bid to educate individuals on the importance of self-care practice as the cheapest and most effective way ensure that they lead a healthy life for their own well-being. Additionally, the theory advocates the need for nursing practice to include a wide variety of self-care activities concerning specific health problem through the help of nurses to the patients to be able to improve nursing practice for the common good. Orem’s theory demystifies nursing practice in broad sense explicating the need to understand different nursing systems, self-care and self-care deficit in attempt to enhance effective and efficient nursing practice from the part of the nurse as well as from the part of the patient (Hartweg, 1991).

            In conclusion, nursing is a complex and difficult process that requires the application of nursing theory in order to help in defining various aspects as applicable in nursing for improving nursing practice. This essay has explicated the application of nursing theory with regards to the grand theory and specifically as the Orem’s theory lays down the basic practices of nursing to enhance the reliability and validity of nursing. Orem’s self-care deficit theory as elucidated in the essay advocates the understanding of nursing process in a bid to determine when nursing is necessary. The essay underscores the five basic nursing approaches that nurses can rely on when a patient is rendered unable to fulfill effective self-care in a bid to help them regain their healthy status. Nursing helps individual patients to develop self-identity and self-direction to be able to take up the need to ensure self-care in certain situations where a nurse may not be available to help. The problem of self-care, especially in specific illnesses is rampant among many individuals due to lack of knowledge on the applicability of nursing theories that can be relied upon to solve this problem.    


Hartweg, D. (1991). Dorothea Orem: Self-Care Deficit Theory. New York: SAGE Publications.

Jaarsma, T., Riegel, B., & Strömberg, A. (2012). A middle-range theory of self-care of chronic illness. LWW Journals, 194 – 204.

McEwen, M., & Wills, E. M. (2014). Theoretical Basis for Nursing. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.