NSG 5002 Week 3 Nursing Theory Sources Assignment

Nursing Theory Sources

Ideas, questions, and phenomena within the domain of nursing are the sources of ideas for theory development.


Initially, nursing was almost completely dependent on other disciplines for sources of theoretical content in order to provide the underpinnings of nursing practice. This allowed other disciplines, particularly medicine, to dictate the problems of nursing instead of allowing nursing to generate its own questions.

In the early days of nursing education, theoretical content was derived from the domain of medicine, as the medical paradigm was far more powerful and better developed.

Thus, medicine controlled nursing theory and, as a result, the domain of its knowledge. At the same time, nursing practice was also taking the first tentative steps toward becoming a source of theory. The patient, as the recipient of care, and actual nursing acts formed the focus of early theory development, and this change in focus reflects the initial efforts to differentiate nursing and medicine.

Consequently, nurses’ experience became a major source of theory because nursing care knowledge was based on personal experiences, transmitted through apprenticeship, teaching, and texts.


In the recent times, nursing theory has originated from:

  • Role Proliferation: Conceptualization of nursing as a set of functions became the focus of investigation, with theory evolving on how to prepare nurses for various roles.
  • Basic Sciences: PhD education of nurses in sociology, psychology, anthropology, and physiology introduced ideas from other disciplines and stimulated new ways of looking at nursing phenomena.
  • Nursing Process: Examination of processes in nurse-patient relationships and patient care triggered ideas and questions related to problem solving, priority setting, and decision making.
  • Nursing Diagnosis: Labels were given to and a universal nomenclature was developed for problems that fall within the domain of nursing. These are actually conceptual statements about the health status of patients and, therefore, the first step in theory development.
  • Concept Identification: Theory development encourages identification of concepts central to nursing. Identification of relationships between concepts (propositions) defined a new nursing perspective.

Nursing Philosophies

The identification of nursing theory sources that are compatible with nursing work and accommodate the nursing perspective paved the way for the emergence of nursing philosophies. Nursing philosophy consists of assumptions and beliefs that guide the framework of nursing practice. This philosophy encompasses societal and individual human experiences (Salsberry, 1994)1, and addresses two central areas of commonality: the nature of human beings and the focus of nursing. 

Inherent fundamental assumptions provide the foundation of nursing philosophy. These philosophies help nurses to identify the focus of nursing as something quite different from that of the biomedical sciences.

Nursing philosophies also initiate reflective practice and encourage nursing professionals—from the novice to the expert—to explore their own values regarding health, nursing, and interaction with clients.

Though there are numerous philosophies and conceptualizations which have been developed over the past few decades, in this course we’ll be focusing on only a select few which have guided nursing endeavors

Assignment – Week 3 Discussion

A phenomenon is the term used to describe a perception or responses to an event.

Examples of phenomena in nursing include caring and responses to stress. Assumptions are the ideas that we take for granted. They explain the nature of the concepts in the theory, giving it structure.

Choose a middle-range theory or grand theory that, in your opinion, can be applied to research.

  • What is the phenomenon of concern in this theory?
  • What are the assumptions underpinning this theory?

Submission Details

  • In your discussion question response, provide a substantive response that illustrates a well-reasoned and thoughtful response; is factually correct with relevant scholarly citations, references, and examples; and demonstrates a clear connection to the readings.
  • Post your response to the Discussion area by the assigned due date.
  • Be sure to correct any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors before you post.
  • By the end of day four (4), respond to at least 2 of your peers’ submissions. In your participation responses to your peers, comments must demonstrate thorough analysis of postings and extend meaningful discussion by building on previous postings.

Example Discussion Approach

Kolcalba’s Theory of Comfort

Katherine Kolcaba’s Theory of Comfort recognizes that an important concept that needs to be addressed in a patient’s care is comfort. Comfort is defined by Kolcaba as not only physical, such as pain, but spiritually, socially, and environmentally. According to Peterson and Bredow (2017), nurses traditionally cared for the comfort of the patient, and in the past was one of the sole focuses of the nurse before advancements in medicine. Currently comfort is majorly addressed in both nursing home settings and hospice.

What is the phenomenon of Concern?

The main phenomenon of concern when it comes to this theory is comfort. Ensuring that the patient is not only physically comfortable but comfortable in other ways. There are three other areas of comfort that this theory addresses, psychospiritual, social comfort, which later became sociocultural, and environmental comfort (Peterson & Bredow, 2017). Psychospiritual, addresses the patient’s awareness of self, their spirituality, and even sexuality. Sociocultural, addresses the need to address cultural issues that may interfere with care of the patient, and even their relationship with family. 

Finally, Environmental addresses things such as the amount of noise, light, temperature of where the patient is being given care. In a study by Barreto et al. (2020), they state that hospitalization is “an unpleasant experience for older people and can increase frailty, making them more susceptible to suffering and discomfort and potentially impairing their recovery.” Addressing these needs would allow for an increase in positive outcomes.

What are the assumptions underpinning this theory?

There are three distinct assumptions made in this theory that are as follows:

  • Human beings have holistic responses to complex stimuli.
  • Comfort is an immediate and desirable holistic state of human beings that is germane to the discipline of nursing.
  • Human beings strive to meet, or to have met, their basic comfort needs. It is an active endeavor (Peterson & Bredow, 2017).

As a community nurses generally base care on physical needs, and not necessarily needs in any of the other areas of comfort. In the study done by Berreto et al. (2020), they found that out of the 26 nursing diagnoses that they looked at, only four of those nursing diagnoses address a need outside of the physical dimension.


  • Barreto Cardoso, R., Alfradique de Souza, P., Pereira Caldas, C., & Ribeiro Bitencourt, G. (2020). Nursing diagnoses in hospitalized elderly patients based on Kolcaba’s
  • Comfort Theory. Revista de Enfermagem Referência, 4, 1–9. https://doi-org.su.idm.oclc.org/10.12707/RV20066
  • Peterson, S., & Bredow, T. (2017). Middle range theories: Application to Nursing Research and Practice (4th ed.). LWW.

Assignment – Week 3 Project

Your “Personal Philosophy and Theoretical Concepts” Paper is due this week. Your paper should contain the following sections:

  • Nursing Autobiography: A brief (1 page) discussion of your background in nursing. This does not include future goals.
  • The Four Metaparadigms: Describe what the literature says about the basic four metaparadigms/concepts of patient, nurse, health, and environment. Do not relate the metaparadigms to the theory you have chosen.
  • Briefly describe the theory you have chosen.
  • Two Practice-Specific Concepts: in separate subsections discuss each of your two concepts:
    • What is the definition of the concept (outside of the theory)?
    • How does your theorist define your concept?
  • How does this concept apply to your clinical setting? Give an example of how nurses in your area provide care that correlates with the theorist’s definition of the concept.

You MUST use the attached template here to complete your paper..