Indiana Wesleyan University Introduction to Nursing Theory Paper

Getting Started

The focus of this discussion is the change in nursing practice that has taken place over the last 150 years and in particular, the last 50 years as a result of nursing theory.

Upon successful completion of this discussion, you will be able to:

  • Discuss conceptual and philosophical underpinnings of nursing practice.


Background Information

Many of the changes that have taken place over the last 150 years within the profession of nursing have taken place because of the courage and insight of various nursing leaders. These nurses were ordinary people who had the courage to step out and make a difference in their world. Some of them encouraged nurses to get involved in causes to help the poor and the needy. Others focused on the need to improve the image of the nursing profession. Some nursing theorists have assisted us in defining the process of nursing care, while others have focused on the essence of nursing care. Each of these nursing leaders has had an impact on what nursing is today.

As you read the textbook assignment and research the journals and Internet sources for information about nursing theories, consider which of these nursing theories have influenced the way your practice.

As a nurse, your actions impact the way nursing is perceived and carried out. Either your actions will keep nursing at the same level it is today, or they may potentially elevate nursing care to new heights. Do you have the courage to impact what nursing will be like tomorrow?


  1. Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
  2. In your textbook, Professional Nursing: Concepts and Challenges, read the following chapters:
    1. Chapter 8, “Conceptual and Philosophical Foundations”
    2. Chapter 9, “Nursing Theory: The Basis for Professional Nursing”
  3. Review the Resources for Workshop 1: Nursing History and Nursing Theory. Search OCLS and the Internet for information on nursing theories.
  4. Prepare to discuss the following prompts:
    1. Discuss conceptual and philosophical underpinnings of nursing practice.
    2. Explain the influence of current and historical nursing theories on professional practice.
  5. Research and select at least two current scholarly sources to support your explanations and insights.


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