Navigating the Evolution of Nursing Knowledge: A Critique of Grand Nursing Theories

This week’s student learning outcome, I was able to critique nursing conceptual models, grand theories, and mid-range theories by describing how the development of nursing knowledge is an ongoing process, how grand nursing theories are involved in this process, and why experts argue the obsolescence of grand nursing theories. The discussion suggests that grand nursing theories offer a foundational framework for nursing knowledge, providing a guideline for adequate care and nursing research. 

Nursing knowledge is continuously developing in a bid to improve nursing research and practice. The application of nursing grand theories has been prevalent, providing a foundational element for nursing knowledge (Butts & Rich, 2021). Throughout the decades, grand nursing theories have acted as a guideline for most patient care activities, offering a roadmap for successful patient recovery through evidence-based information. 
However, some scholars also argue about the obsolescence of grand nursing theories. The ongoing development of nursing knowledge seeks to enhance the care process through holistic and evidence-based perspectives. Modern nursing care requires the incorporation of specific care therapies that will provide tailored healthcare to the patients. Patients often present with unique symptoms that may be quite challenging to diagnose. Grand nursing theories have a legacy of providing foundational frameworks for understanding various complex illnesses, which have been used to explain the nature and possible treatment therapies for such illnesses. Therefore, nurses and other healthcare providers routinely use grand nursing theories as a framework for practice, education, professional development, decision-making guidelines, and patient assessment frameworks, among other uses. For example, Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring emphasizes care factors, holistic care, and personal care relationships with patients (Alharbi & Baker, 2020). Using the theory, nurses can provide patient-centered care, create therapeutic associations, enhance their cultural knowledge, and promote effective communication with patients, thus enhancing the care and healing process. 
Despite these uses, experts argue that nursing grand theories may be obsolete due to their abstract and broader scope, thus inappropriate for modern nursing practice and research. As stated in the introduction, modern nursing care requires specific care modalities tailored to each patient. This is due to the complex nature of modern chronic illnesses that are often unique to each patient. Therefore, applying abstract grand nursing theory frameworks may not be effective in delivering effective care and research. This argument forms the basis of the obsolescence of grand nursing theories. Today, nursing research and practice mainly focus on the more specific middle-range theories that have been proven more appropriate.

200 words and 2 references

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