The integration of theory into nursing practice can be discussed as a challenging process because many nurses do not understand the role of theory in their work, and they are more focused on completing patient-oriented tasks. In their article, Tracy and DiNapoli (2012) discussed how it is possible to apply Dossey’s theory of integral nursing to practice in order to support nurses’ activities by the theoretical knowledge. The aim of this paper is to provide the summary and analysis of this article’s purpose, methods, the theoretical framework, strengths, weaknesses, and clinical implications, as well as to discuss the article’s content in the context of the essentials of Master’s education in nursing.
Purpose of the Article
The purpose of the reviewed article is to present and discuss basic principles of Dossey’s theory of integral nursing in order to help nurses develop interventions grounded on theoretical constructs and holistic views associated with healing (Tracy & DiNapoli, 2012). In this context, the focus is on developing theory-based pain management interventions. Thus, the purpose is formulated clearly, and the authors succeeded to achieve it in their article.
The authors of the article applied the qualitative descriptive methodology in order to present the information about the theory of integral nursing. The researchers provided the detailed description and review of the theory’s concepts, such as healing, the meta-paradigm of nursing, patterns of knowing, quadrants, and the AQUAL concept (all quadrants, all levels) (Tracy & DiNapoli, 2012). Finally, the authors also proposed the methods of applying this theory to nursing practice related to pain management. The used methodology can be viewed as effective to address the set purpose of this work.
Since the purpose of the article is to describe the main principles of the theory of integral nursing, this model represents the basis for the theoretical framework in this research. The authors provided many details regarding the theory’s assumptions and constructs (Tracy & DiNapoli, 2012). They also succeeded to demonstrate how this theory can be applied to practice.
Strengths and Weaknesses
The strengths of the article are in describing the principles of the theory under discussion in detail, as well as in providing clear examples of how to apply it to nurses’ practice in the field of pain management. Furthermore, it is possible to state that the article addressed its secondary purpose associated with informing nurses about possibilities to refer to theories, and the research explains the role of theory in providing the holistic care (Tracy & DiNapoli, 2012). Weaknesses of the article can be associated with using the limited number of recent sources on the topic.
Clinical implications of this study include the provision of information on how to collaborate with patients using the theoretical knowledge, how to improve the quality of pain management with reference to theoretical assumptions, and how to develop interventions which are proved by research in the field (Tracy & DiNapoli, 2012). Nurses can learn how to directly integrate theory into their practice to achieve higher results. These implications are important to improve patients’ outcomes.
While applying the theory of integral nursing to practice, advanced practice nurses can refer to some of the essentials of Master’s education in nursing. The first essential to focus on is Essential IV (Translating and Integrating Scholarship into Practice) (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2011). When nurses apply the theory of integral nursing to practice, they refer to the scholarly knowledge and theoretical constructs to support their decisions. The second essential is Essential IX (Master’s-Level Nursing Practice) (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2011). Thus, at this stage, nurses are expected to refer to theories to develop high-quality interventions and make effective decisions as professionals.
This article is an example of a qualitative descriptive study. The review of the article indicates that it has many strengths. Thus, the article is effective to demonstrate how it is possible to apply the theory of integral nursing in order to make nursing practice become focused on theory.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2011). The essentials of Master’s education in nursing.
Tracy, S. M., & DiNapoli, P. P. (2012). Exploring the theory of integral nursing with implications for pain management practice. International Journal for Human Caring, 16(1), 26-33.