Nursing theory is an inventive and dynamic design of ideas that provide a systematic, meaningful and tentative view of phenomena. There are different types of nursing theories, which include such as nursing practice theories, mid-range nursing theories and grand nursing theories. In the past, nursing theories are applied to disseminate, advance and describe as well as to use the current knowledge in nursing (Eriksson, 2002, p. 2). Theories provide a wide range of functions, changes and actions aiming to produce the desired results. Additionally, the theories act as a framework that direct action in the profession. Nursing theories consist of models that offer a general rationale of thinking and illustrate how a theory can be used in practice through the specific methods of assessment (Lillis, LeMone, LeBon & Lynn, 2010, p. 24). Jean Watson proposes the caring science theory that is crucial in nursing. The key principles of caring science theory allow the opportunity for loving-healing-caring in the practice. In addition to that, it suggests authentic presence that helps in deep belief of other patients (Watson, 2008, p. 3). The paper describes the importance of nursing theory in general and explains the use of human caring science in nursing.
Nursing theory is crucial for the benefit of patients and advancement of nursing profession. Nursing theory helps a nursing profession to develop as a separate health, caring and healing field, while creating mutual relationships with other departments. Additionally, nursing theories indicate that all health care practitioners should share a common framework for caring and supporting patients (Rafael, 2000, p. 4). Therefore, nursing theories propose the use of relationship in medicine that facilitates faster healing process.
Nursing theory acts as a guiding framework in development and production of knowledge relating to nursing (Lillis, LeMone, LeBon & Lynn, 2010, p. 33). It also ensures that nurses understand the main ideas behind creating friendly working environment with patients, such as establishing proper communication. As nursing tries to become an independent discipline in a healthcare system, nursing theory acts as a source of ideas, models and concepts that can successfully integrate all the aspects. In the contemporary health care system, research plays a critical role in understanding the factors that affect health (Watson, 2008, p. 9). Regarding to this fact, nursing theories embrace the research and integrate with the ideas in a nursing profession in order to create a dynamic environment.
Health of an individual is affected by several factors inclusding such as environment, heredity, nutrition and lack of care especially at old age. Therefore, nursing theory guides the nurses on how to implement halth care programs in the community and produces positive results in terms of disease reduction (Lillis, LeMone, LeBon & Lynn, 2010, p. 37). Professional boundaries help develop a career as they reduce interdependences, especially in the healthcare system. Moreover, nursing theories create professional boundaries that assist the nurse to distinguish themselves among other practitioners as crucial members of the healthcare setting (Eriksson, 2002, p. 10).
Nurses implement a wide range of programs in the community and hospitals aiming to assist patients. Predicting the success of these programs and initiatives proves this to be quite a difficult task. Due to this fact, the utilization of nursing theories helps the nurses assess, predict and evaluate the outcomes of their daily activities (Watson, 2008, p. 13). Thus, nursing theories contribute to successful implementation of helth care programs. Nursing theories provide a collection of reliable concepts, statements and ideas that guide the nursing practices in a program or project.
Daily nursing activities require time-consuming and efficient decision making in critical circumstances (Lillis, LeMone, LeBon & Lynn, 2010, p. 56). Nursing theories are of great importance for nurses as they guide them in making grand decisions that contribute to the quality of nursing care.More important is the fact that nursing theory helps nursing develop self-governance by establishing caring and healing models to the broader community (Rafael, 2000, p. 6).
Watson proposes caring science theory, which suggests a humanitarian approach in nursing. In addition to that, it encompasses humanitarian coordination of the right processes and phenomena a patient may experience. Caring science theory contains humanities and arts as well as science. A perspective of caring science is based on relational ontology and the importance of connectedness and unity for all the people (Watson, 2008, p. 14). Moreover, caring science theory also addresses ethical and philosophical basis for nursing and it forms the core focus for nursing at the disciplinary stage. It produces a model of caring that encompasses a call for both science and art. The main reason for selecting this theory is that it provides the core significance of nurses’ care to the patients. Moreover, care science theory includes an explanation of the ways show nursing should apply three aspects of love, care and spirit to patients (Ewen, & Wills, 2014, p. 7). The theory was selected as it explains the ideas and concepts that form the core ethics in this profession.
Additionally, it provides a conceptual framework that is connected with spirituality, humanity, science, art and new approach esof mind-body-spirit as well as medicine (Eriksson, 2002, p. 11). Furthermore, nursing emerges explicitly as a key to human issues of practicing this profession. Watson argues that it is, therefore, easy to research, teach, learn and read about nursing issues through the caring science theory. In addition to that, the theory proposes that caring can be efficiently illustrated and applied only interpersonally. Furtyher, caring is a very crucial aspect in nursing as it involves curative aspects that lead to satisfaction of specific human needs (Lillis, LeMone, LeBon & Lynn, 2010, p. 51). When nurses effectively use caring model in their practices, it enhances health and advancements of family or individuals.
The caring science concepts assume that caring responses should accept a patient in his or her status and the outcome of his or her disease. Moreover, a caring environment is the one that provides the advancement of care while permitting an individual to select the best option at a particular time (Watson, 2008, p. 4). Caring science also suggests that science of caring is supplementary to the science of curing, hence, caring is health genic. Therefore, as a nurse, an aspect of caring should be the most crucial in the nursing profession. If a nurse decides to apply the perspective of caring as theory, ethics, philosophy and model for changing the caring practice, it should be also considered whether the caring model would change and improve the status of a patient (Rafael, 2000, p. 7).
Caring science theory in nursing encompasses transpersonal caring associations. Transpersonal relationships transfer issues go beyond the self-ego at a particular moment. Therefore, it not only reaches to the deeper links to spirit but also to the wider psychosocial being (Eriksson, 2002, p. 15). Consequently, transpersonal caring links are trusted beyond the self-ego and moves to nurturing the spiritual aspect of the patient. Consequently, it helps to tap into the healing prospect of a patient (Lillis, LeMone, LeBon & Lynn, 2010, p. 39). Transpersonal caring is designed to connect and embrace the soul and spirit of a recipient of service through the process of healing and caring and provide a reliable association during the healing process.
Transpersonal relations are affected by caring consciousness of a patient as a nurse enters his or her psychological life (Watson, 2008, p. 23). Moreover, a nurse is capable of detecting the conditions of a patient, such as spirit and soul wellnes. It demonstrates the concentration on the exclusivity of the person and the distinctiveness of the moment, which leads to the establishment of new possibilities.
Transpersonal caring requires a legitimacy of behaving in the right manner. Additionally, it requires the capacity to allow a meditative environment in order to facilitate faster healing (Eriksson, 2002, p. 17). Furthermore, a transpersonal nurse should have the specific skills to focus on consciousness of the wellness, healing and caring instead of concentrating on pathology, illness and disease.
Proficiencies of transpersonal caring are associated with ontological development of the human capabilities of a nurse and the character of a patient. Due to this fact, “ontological caring capabilities” are turning into “technological curing abilities” in the current modern medicine-nursing interactions (Rafael, 2000, p. 9). In the transpersonal caring model, clinical caritas awareness is involved at an initial ethical stage for inception into this framework. The nurses try to arrive and live within other frame of reference that links with the spirits of patients. Therefore, nurses and patients join into a mutual pursuit for wholeness and the meaning of being. Ultimately, they become beneficiaries of comfort measures, controlling pain and caring, which creates perfection of spiritual well-being (Lillis, LeMone, LeBon & Lynn, 2010, p. 65). Therefore, a person is perceived as complete and whole inspite of diseases and illnesses.
Caring science theory by Watson contains specific caring moments and occasions. A caring occasion takes place when a nurse and a patient interact in their life histories. The interaction becomes a central point of time and space (Eriksson, 2002, p. 23). In addition, it turns to transcendence, where perception and experience occurs, and actual caring has a meaningful effect. The process goes beyond the self-egoof all parties and forms apart from an individual history.
A caring moment encompasses the choice and action by both nurse and patient. The moment of their interaction offers them the chance to know how to be in the relationship and what to do in the course of their work. Each individual experiences an interaction with the other at the particular spirit level in case the caring moment is transpersonal (Lillis, LeMone, LeBon & Lynn, 2010, p. 33). Therefore, it transcends space and time creating up new probabilities for healing, connecting humans at a deeper level as compared to the physical interaction.
The transpersonal caring (healing) is a dynamic process in a caring moment and is demonstrated in consciousness. The consciousness of a nurse affects the transpersonal aspects of a caring moment, which ultimately affects the dimension of wholeness. In a single caring moment, completely loving, healing and caring consciousness is contained in one setting (Watson, 2008, p. 25). There is interconnection between a person who is caring and a person, who is receiving caring. In addition to that, the caring-healing process is linked with other individual’s spiritual being. The nurse’s loving, healing and caring consciousness is delivered to the one receiving care, as it transcends space and time (Rafael, 2000, p. 10). Moreover, this form of consciousness is more crucial than physical dimensions.
Nursing theory is an inventive and dynamic way of ideas designing that provides a systematic, meaningful and a tentative view of phenomena. Caring science theory developed by Watson suggests that the proper care and love level is interconnected to spirit that leads to faster healing. Nursing theories are very crucial as they create a sense of identity among the nurses. It also helps develop the future perspectives of advancement and recognition of importance of this profession (Rafael, 2000, p. 11). Caring science theory suggests also a humanitarian approach in nursing care for patients. A nurse must be a source of love that connects the spiritual and healing process of a patient, which leads to faster good health.
Eriksson, K. (2002). Caring science in a new key. Nursing science quarterly, 15(1), 61-65.
Ewen, M. & Wills, E. (2014). Theoretical basis for nursing (4th ed.). Philidelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins.
Lillis, C., LeMone, P., LeBon, M., & Lynn, P. (2010). Study Guide for fundamentals of nursing: The art and science of nursing care. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Rafael, A. R. F. (2000). Watson’s philosophy, science, and theory of human caring as a conceptual framework for guiding community health nursing practice. Advances in Nursing Science, 23(2), 34-49.
Watson, J. (2008). Nursing: The philosophy and science of caring (revised edition). Caring in Nursing Classics: An Essential Resource, 243-264.