Evidence based practice, research and theory are the pillars of the nursing profession. The interaction of these three principles is mutual and aids with the collaboration of educating novice nurses. Nursing, as a profession, is committed to recognizing its own unparalleled body of knowledge vital to nursing practice—nursing science (Marrs, 2006).To distinguish this foundation of knowledge, nurses need to identify, develop, and understand concepts and theories in line with nursing. Florence Nightingale, the mother of nursing, defined nursing in her “Environmental Theory” as “the act of utilizing the environment of the patient to assist in recovery”.
For theory, clinical evidence-based practice creates research questions and knowledge. Research drives evidence based practice and develops knowledge through the advancement of theories. Theory guides research and improves evidence-based practice. Nursing is a unique discipline and is separate from medicine. It has its own body of knowledge on which delivery of care is based upon.
The aim of the research is enrichment of knowledge in any field. Research seeks for the truth that is already there but needs to be explored. Successful nursing practice involves the use of knowledge, skills, care, and creativity in an efficient, effective, and considerate manner to treat patients (Marrs, 2006). Research findings provide an important part of the knowledge involved in making health decisions in nursing. Moreover, all recommendations on medical care should be focused on evidence from research. To establish a protocol, research results are used and the plan is implemented in everyday clinical practice.
Using research in day-to-day nursing practice will enhance patient care and nursing practice, and can help to provide safe and cost-effective care. The survival of nursing as a profession depends on nurses’ ability to understand and apply theory while providing optimum care. An ongoing challenge to the nursing profession is to keep the important relationship between research, theory and practice in force (Veloza, 2016). As a proficient clinician, we rely strongly on research and practice to determine the treatment that will be rendered. At times, I tend to analyze situations, regardless of what the physician orders because they are not visually viewing the patients.
The relationship between research and theory is reciprocal where research generate more knowledge and theory. Theory is central to the research process, where it is necessary to use theory as a context to support the research with insight and direction. Theory may be used by creating and evaluating hypotheses of interest to direct the research process. The relationship between theory and evidence based practice reciprocal. Practice is the basis for the development of nursing theory whereas nursing theory must be validated in practice (Marrs, 2006).
Research relies on theory and vice-versa. The scenario of nursing practice that is distinguished by good care must be supported by nursing science in which the development and spread of knowledge through research is a two-way street between theory, founded on the concepts and propositions of nursing science and practice (Veloza, 2016). Nursing is based on the theory of what nursing is, what nurses do, and why nurses exist. We are the foundation of healthcare and without nurses, the body of healthcare will never be the same.
Nursing theory and practice: connecting the dots. Marrs JA, Lowry LW. Nurs Sci Q. 2006 Jan;19(1):44-50. doi: 10.1177/0894318405283547. PMID: 16407599
Veloza-Gomez M. The Research-Theory-Practice Relationship a Reference for the Discipline of
Nursing. Ann Nurs Res Pract. 2016; 1(1): 1004.
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