Structure of Theory in Nursing

In nursing, understanding all phenomena is a critical step for all nurses and other participants of a working process. The structure of the theory is how nursing knowledge is developed and learned through programs. First theories were introduced in the middle of the 19th century (e.g., Nightingale’s notes on nursing were created in 1859) (Morse, 2017). There are many ways to introduce and understand the structure of theory, and one of the options is to consider its major concepts, statements, and propositions (Hardin, 2018).

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An outline of a nursing theory should include the description of a person (patient), health, the environment, and nursing (its goals and functions). Nurses pose many questions, and theories are used to find out answers, develop solutions, and introduce new problems that induce discoveries.

The purpose of theory in today’s nursing practice environment is to assist nurses in describing, understanding, and using various phenomena. I believe that theoretical knowledge and applications play an important role in nursing due to the possibilities that become available to all participants. Paying attention to the structure of theory and nursing knowledge is a good chance to find out the logics in practice and help unprepared patients understand the basics. In my area of nursing, adult patients, theory cannot be ignored because of two major reasons. Andersson, Willman, Sjöström-Strand, and Borglin (2015) underlined that nurses usually work on the frontline of care practice.

The task of a nurse is to clarify all aspects of care and make sure they are clear to patients with long life experience. In addition, adult patients’ nursing is a constantly developing field. Therefore, theories and the structure of theory are deeply interrelated with the modern nursing environment to guide and support workers, as well as patients.


Andersson, E. K., Willman, A., Sjöström-Strand, A., & Borglin, G. (2015). Registered nurses’ descriptions of caring: A phenomenographic interview study. BMC Nursing, 14. Web.

Hardin, S. R. (2018). Theory development process. In M. R. Alligood (Ed.), Nursing theorists and their work (9th ed.) (pp. 35-43). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

Morse, J. M. (2017). Where we came from. In J. M. Morse (Ed.), Analyzing and conceptualizing the theoretical foundations of nursing (pp. 19-44). New York, NY: Springer.

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