The Theory-Practice Gap and Nursing Research Essay

The Theory-Practice Gap and Nursing Research Essay

The Theory-Practice Gap and Nursing Research Essay

The Theory-Practice Gap and Nursing Research Essay Sample

Theory-guided research uses nursing theory to develop, apply, borrow, or adopt its scientific framework. Apart from nursing research, nursing theory can also influence nursing education, policy, and practice. In this discussion, I selected a research article by Miller & Wojnar (2019). Miller & Wojnar (2019) studied breastfeeding concerning the perceptions of the mother on the clinical care and support they received when initiating breastfeeding. This nursing research was guided the Swanson’s theory of caring.

Theory Analysis

Kristen Swanson proposed Swanson’s theory of caring in 1991. This middle-range theory has five processes: knowing, being with, doing for, enabling, and maintaining belief. In this theory, nursing is seen as a process of offering care based on the personal feeling of commitment and responsibility through naturing and values and instilling meaningful, caring relationships (McKelvey, 2018). The meta paradigms in this theory are relatable.

The nursing meta paradigm is this theory includes the processes of ‘doing for’ and ‘enabling.’ The concept of doing in this theory involves performing actions for the patient, which they would normally perform in normal health (McKelvey, 2018). The ‘enabling’ concept ensures that the nurse facilitates these actions. Nurses during the process of teaching breastfeeding should know the correct practices for breastfeeding and teach appropriately through demonstration and explanations that will enable mother practice quality breastfeeding.

The person metaparadigm in this research study represents the mother who has delivered and requires the information and skills to initiate breastfeeding. The mother in this study viewed breastfeeding as a source of pride and fulfillment of which outcomes were healthy thriving babies. Therefore, the health metaparadigm is reflected in the health of the babies and the competency of the mother to perform breastfeeding effectively. The outcomes of health and nursing for the mother can be impeded by uncaring behaviors from the nurses that lead to mothers’ self-doubt, negative perception of breastfeeding, and lack of self-confidence in breastfeeding

The environment meta paradigm in this theory also includes the ‘enabling’ concept. Modifying the patient’s environment enables them to establish relationships and facilitate health (Chen et al., 2019). The person concept in this theory represents the patient whose personal experience the nurse is supposed to know, emotions that the nurse is supposed to care for, physical needs the nurse is supposed to facilitate, and spiritual needs the nurse is supposed to help sustain. Kristen M. Swanson holistically viewed the health meta paradigms. She included spiritual, physical, and emotional aspects. In the study by Miller & Wojnar (2019), the environment is the emotional and physical factor that mothers perceive as a contributor to their successful breastfeeding. The nurse should ensure the nurses’ presence in initiating breastfeeding to enable them to initiate affectionate breastfeeding that requires voice, touch, eye contact, and holding. The nurse, the mother, and the baby form part of the environment that enables this process of caring by teaching breastfeeding


Swanson’s theory of caring thus promotes multidimensional care. The study by Miller & Wojnar (2019) assessed how nurses promoted the mother’s emotional, physical, and emotional health by encouraging their knowledge, training them to perform actual breastfeeding, comforting them to ensure they are psychologically healthy to perform breastfeeding, and enabling them to breastfeed in the most favorable conditions. Therefore, this middle-range theory is research-facilitating and practice-oriented.



Chen Y.-T., Lin S.-R., & Kao C.-Y. (2019). Applying Swanson’s theory of caring to ManagePowerlessness in an older patient with vasculitis. Hu li za Zhi The journal of nursing, 66(3), 112–119.

McKelvey, M. M. (2018). Finding meaning through Kristen Swanson’s caring behaviors: A cornerstone of healing for nursing education. Creative Nursing, 24(1), 6–11.

Miller, C. W., & Wojnar, D. (2019). Breastfeeding support is guided by Swanson’s Theory of Caring. MCN. The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, 44(6), 351–356.

As the nursing profession continually evolves, practice knowledge is increasing and closing the theory-practice gap. The purpose of this discussion is to explore how nursing theory is used as a framework in nursing research, building the body of professional nursing knowledge.


Using one of the articles provided in this week\’s course announcement, identify the nursing theory used to frame the nursing research.
Analyze the selected nursing theory and describe how the theory applies to nursing\’s metaparadigm, including each of the following:
Please click on the following link to review the DNP Discussion Guidelines on the Student Resource Center program page:

Link (webpage): DNP Discussion GuidelinesLinks to an external site.
Course Outcomes
This discussion enables the student to meet the following course outcomes:

Appraise global healthcare practice problems and DNP practice relevant to advanced nursing practice. (POs 1, 3, 9)
Analyze the concepts and principles used in theory development in nursing. (POs 3, 5, 9)
Due Dates
Initial Post: By 11:59 p.m. MT on Wednesday
Follow-Up Posts: By 11:59 p.m. MT on Sunday

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