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Importance of Nursing Theory Essay


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Importance of Nursing Theory


Nursing profession has developed from being dependent on medical direction and providing primary care to being an independent discipline that has its own nursing practice. Nursing theory is an innovative and dynamic structuring of concepts that shows a systematic, purposeful and tentative insight of phenomena. Theories contain propositions, models, definitions and concepts established by assumptions to identify what the patient needs (Parker & Smith, 2010, p. 39). Nursing theory is designed to explain, predict, and describe nursing phenomenon. Nola J. Pender proposed health promotion model that established a “corresponding complement to health protection models.” It describes health as a positive and active state rather than simply lack of disease (Raingruber, 2014, p. 56). This paper describes an importance of nursing theory and health promotion model and its application in nursing practice. Additionally, it focuses on the key concepts and relationships as well as specialization ideas on the human promotion model theory (Maville & Huerta, 2008, p. 16).

Importance of Nursing Theory

Nursing theory offers the basis of nursing practice, assists in producing more knowledge, and shows the direction in which nursing should be established in the future. Therefore, nursing theory is crucial because it assists nurses to decide what they know and what ideas they need to understand (Parker & Smith, 2010, p. 39). In addition, it differentiates what needs to form the foundation of practice by clearly describing nursing. According to Ewen and Wills (2014), it benefits nursing profession due to better professional status of nurses, enhanced patient care, and proper communication between partners (Maville & Huerta, 2008, p. 23). Besides, it acts as a guide for education and research. Nursing theory helps nurses to establish a special body of knowledge as medicine attempts to move towards initiating a more multidisciplinary strategy (Ewen & Wills, 2014, p. 48). It also assists nursing profession to establish professional boundaries.

Nursing theory also helps nurses to predict, explain and describe daily experiences. Furthermore, it acts as a guide for evaluation, interventions and assessment of nursing care. It is important because it offers a rationale of gathering credible and reliable data concerning health status of patients that is crucial for efficient implementations and decision making process (Parker & Smith, 2010, p. 40). Nursing theory plays a crucial role in describing criteria to determine the quality of nursing care.

It also enables nurses to establish a common terminology of practice to apply in communication with partners in the health care setting. Offering the importance of nursing theory can assist nurses to know the purpose in the healthcare setting. Nursing theory in practice facilitates developing autonomy such as self-governance of nursing via its own independent operations. There are trends in the nursing discipline in the use and development of nursing theory. In this respect, the theory gives nurses a sense of identity (Ewen & Wills, 2014, p. 50). Therefore, it assists managers, patients and other professional to identify special contribution that nursing profession makes to the healthcare service.

The Health Promotion Model Theory

Health promotion model is designed to increase the well-being of the patient. It describes the multidimensional feature of people as they relate to their environment to seek health. It is based on five major concepts of person, environment, nursing, health and illness (Pender, Murdaugh, & Parsons, 2014, p. 113). In addition, health promotion model addresses three crucial areas which include behavioral outcomes, behavior-specific effects and cognitions, and personal experiences and characteristics.

The theory suggests that every individual has a special personal trait and experiences that influence future actions. The wide range of specific information regarding behavior and effects have special motivational importance (Maville & Huerta, 2008, p. 24). The behavior variables can be changed via nursing actions. The theory argues that health promoting behavior is the necessary behavioral result that marks the final stage of the health promotion model. Pender’s theory is selected in this paper because proper behaviors should lead to better health, higher quality of life and improved functional ability at all stages of human development (Raingruber, 2014, p. 57). The ultimate behavioral need is affected by the emergent competing preferences and demands that can affect the expected actions for promoting health.

According to the health promotion model, an individual is a biopsychosocial being who is partly influenced by the environment, but he can build an environment where acquired potential of human beings can be completely developed. There is a reciprocal relationship between environment and a person (Pender, Murdaugh, & Parsons, 2014, p. 112). Personal characteristics and life experiences affect health behaviors. Environment is physical, cultural and social context that unfolds life courses. The environment can be shaped by the individual to establish a positive cue for health-enhancing behaviors.

In addition, nursing is partnership with communities, families, and individuals which aims to build the most favorable factors for the optimal health expression and well-being at the highest level (Maville & Huerta, 2008, p. 25). Pender suggests that in reference to an individual, there is a realization of intrinsic and acquired potential of human beings via goal-based traits and fulfilling others relationships. Therefore, changes in human behaviors are made as required to satisfy the harmony and integrity with a suitable environment (Raingruber, 2014, p. 97). Health is a dynamic experience in life. Illnesses are distinct events in the lifetime of either long-term (chronic) or short-term (acute) period that can prevent or enable a person from progressing with pursuit of health (Maville & Huerta, 2008, p. 25).

Moreover, health promotion model makes several assumptions. It suggests that people are in constant pursuit to actively control their own behaviors. As people interact with the environment, they continually change it as well as being transformed themselves over a period.

Healthcare practitioners, for example, nurses form part of interpersonal environment that controls individuals throughout their lives. In addition, health promotion model proposes that self-developed reconfiguration of the environment-person cooperative patterns plays a crucial role in changing behavior (Maville & Huerta, 2008, p. 14).

Health promotion model offers theoretical statements that create the foundation of health behaviors. Inherited and prior behavior as well as acquired features affect the enactment and beliefs of health-promoting behavior. Perceived challenges can limit commitment to actual and intermediary deeds of behavior (Pender, Murdaugh, & Parsons, 2014, p. 118). Self-efficacy or perceived competencies to implement a particular behavior increase the chances of planned action commitment and real performance of the behavior.

Many perceived self-efficacies produce less perceived barriers to a particular behavior (Raingruber, 2014, p. 107). The theory suggests that positive effects in a behavior lead to more perceived self-efficacy  that in turn leads to greater positive influences. The likelihood of an action and commitment increases in case positive effects or emotions are aligned with a behavior. There is a higher likelihood of people’s commitment to and engagement in behaviors that enhance health when substantial model behavior, anticipated occurrence of behavior offer support and assistance to activate a behavior (Pender, Murdaugh, & Parsons, 2014, p. 123). Nurses, peers and families are crucial sources of interpersonal effects that can decrease or increase involvement in and commitment to a behavior that promote health.  ‘Situational influences’ can decrease or increase the engagement in or commitment to health enhancing behavior in the external environment (Raingruber, 2014, p. 110). There are higher health enhancing behaviors due to more commitment to a particular planned action that can be maintained in a given period. Individuals can change physical and interpersonal environment, cognitions and influences that establish incentives to actions connected with health (Maville & Huerta, 2008, p. 17). Determination of an action plan will less probably lead to favorable behavior when actions are enticing and thus favorable over the preferred behavior.

The primary concepts of health promotion model are personal experiences and characteristics, prior behaviors and regularity of common behaviors in the past. There are indirect and direct impacts on the chances of involvement in health-promoting behaviors.

Personal aspects are grouped as socio-cultural, psychological and biological features (Pender, Murdaugh, & Parsons, 2014, p. 129). These aspects are analytical on a particular behavior and are determined by the kind of the selected behavior being addressed. Biological personal aspects include variables such as agility, strength, aerobic ability, body mass index, pubertal status, and age. Psychological personal aspects include factors such as perceived health status, personal competences, self-motivation, and self-esteem (Raingruber, 2014, p. 136). Additionally, socio-cultural, personal factors involve aspects such as socioeconomic factors, education, acculturation, race and ethnicity.

Views of Specialization

Health promotion theory proposes perceived benefits of action, which are the expected positive results that take place as a result of behavior. Perceived challenges to action are expected which are real or imagined costs and barriers of knowing a particular behavior. Perceived self-efficacy is the personal ability and judgement to order and implement a health-promoting behavior (Pender, Murdaugh, & Parsons, 2014, p. 131). Perceived self-efficacy affects perceived barriers to action, hence, more efficacy leads to minimum perception of barrier to behavior performance.

Performance-related effects are subjectively negative or positive feelings that takes place depending on the features of the behavior. They affect self-efficacy, hence, more positive increases subjective feeling, which leads to higher feeling of efficacy (Maville & Huerta, 2008, p. 29). Consequently, more feeling of efficacy can produce more positive effects. Interpersonal effects are cognition-related to attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. They include modeling, social support and norms (Raingruber, 2014, p. 119). Key sources of interpersonal effects are nurses, peers and families.

According to health promotion theory, situational influences are cognitions and personal perceptions that obstruct or facilitate behavior (what behavior?). They involve insights of available options and demand features and aesthetic characteristics in which addressed health behavior can occur (Raingruber, 2014, p. 141). Situational influences may include indirect or direct effects on behaviors of health. In the behavioral results, there is a determined action plan that is an idea of identification and intention of developmental approach which generates an execution of health behavior. It also suggests competitive needs that are optional behaviors that persons have minimum control because they are environmental aspects such as caring for families and work responsibilities (Pender, Murdaugh, & Parsons, 2014, p. 147). Competing preferences are optional behaviors which means a person has a higher control.


There are many benefits of nursing theory to the nursing profession and better patient care. It benefits the nursing profession due to better professional status for nurses, enhanced patient care, proper communication between nurses. Therefore, the theory gives nurses a sense of identity (Parker & Smith, 2010, p. 39). Additionally, it assists managers, patients and other professional to identify special contribution that nursing profession make to the healthcare service. Health promotion model explains the multidisciplinary character of human beings as they intermingle with the environment to seek good health. The models address concepts such as behavioral results, behavior-specific effects and cognition, personal experiences and characteristics (Maville & Huerta, 2008, p. 30). It also suggests that every person has a special personal experience and characteristics that influence future actions.



Ewen, M. & Wills, E. (2014). Theoretical basis for nursing (4th ed.). Philidelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins.

Maville, J., & Huerta, C. (2008). Health promotion in nursing. Clifton Park, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning.

Parker, M.E. & Smith, M. C. (2010). Nursing theories and nursing practice (3rd ed.). F.A. Davis Company. If you have any questions please do not hestate to call. if needed i will send further details .

Pender, N., Murdaugh, C., & Parsons, M. (2014). Health promotion in nursing (7th ed.). New York: Pearson Education.

Raingruber, B. (2014). Contemporary health promotion in nursing practice. Burlington, Mass.: Jones & Bartlett Learning.