Problems that emerge in health sectors

Applying Theory to a Practice Problem: Part 1: Introduction and Problem of Practice

Application of Theory to the Practice


Application of Theory to the Practice

Section 1

In the modern age, the field of nursing is ever evolving to meet the new challenges that
emerge in every setting. Many hospitals have embraced the nursing code of ethics and nursing
theories in their duties and as a result, there have been successful results. Over the years, there
have been a number of nursing theories that have enhanced a significant contribution in the
nursing professional. The impact that nursing theory enhances in the nursing practice cannot be
underestimated in that it creates a strong framework to define and support nursing practice,
enhance quality patient care, and provide solutions to problems that emerge in nursing practices
(Parse, 1995). The theory of human caring by Jean Watson creates a strong platform to
understand the importance of understanding and applying nursing principles to resolve the
challenges that emerge on a daily basis. In depth, this section will discuss how nursing theories
impact nurse staffing in hospitals.
Practice Problem and its Importance
A body of nursing literature reveals that nurse staffing has been an ongoing challenge
faced by most hospitals (Alligood and Tomey, 2006). Healthcare leaders have acknowledged that
staffing issue is an ongoing concern that influences the safety of patients and nurses. Nurse
staffing is an elusive problem for many nurse leaders, clinical nurses, and educators in the acute
setting. Hospitals with inadequate or low nurse staffing level have poorer patient outcomes, thus
compromising on quality care. Decreased nursing staff affects patients’ safety and increased
incidences of medication errors, patients’ falls, longer hospital stays, and high patients’ mortality

rate. Despite the problem affecting nursing professional, traditional methods of solving the issue
with the retention plans and financially based recruitment have not fully resolved the issue.
Nevertheless, applying nursing theories has provided great insights on how nurses can work hard
to enhance quality care to patients. Managers and hospital administrators understand the need to
boost quality care and increase nurses’ morale. Indeed, when nurses are motivated to perform
their tasks they would be valuable resources that strive to enhance the well-being of patients.
In today’s society, nurses face a lot of challenges trying to balance their personal lives
and their career. By applying Watson’s theory, healthcare leaders understand that nurses should
be motivated by various rewards to perform their duties effectively. This theory creates a strong
platform for hospitals to understand that human caring is a crucial aspect in nursing that
promotes quality care and solve staffing issues. To fully respond to the problem of nurse staffing,
every individual in the clinical setting should understand that a human being is a valued being
that should be nurtured, assisted, supported, cared for, and respected. This theory provides
insights that, a caring environment is one that provides the development of an individual’s well
being and allows the healthcare provider to accomplish his or her career goals (McEwen and
Wills, 2011).
So, by putting the theory of human care in the hospital set-up, nurse managers and
leaders understand the need of motivating nurses to perform, their duties effectively with an aim
of promoting quality care delivery. The application of Watson’s theory has been used to improve
nursing practice and provide nurses with the most satisfying aspects that boost holistic care.
Applying theories in nursing is logical in that it offers solutions to immediate problems that
emerge in the health sectors (Parker, 2006).


Alligood, M. R., and Tomey, A. M. (2006). Nursing theory; Utilization and Application (3rd
ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier.
McEwen, M. and Wills, E. M. (2011). Theoretical basis for nursing (32nd ed.). Philadelphia,
PA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Parker, M. E. (2006). Nursing theories and nursing practice. (2nd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F. A.
Parse, R. R. (1995). Illuminations: The human becoming theory in practice and research. New
York, NY: National League for Nursing Press.

Section 2

The Theorist Bibliography
Jean Watson is a recognized nurse theorist who has transformed the world with her
knowledge and contribution of human caring. Born on June 10, 1940, Watson is a known scholar
and the father of Watson Caring Science Institute. The institute is a non-profit organization
dedicated to support and expands the insights of the practices and theories of human caring in the
healthcare sectors. The modern society celebrates Watson for having six honorary doctorates that
have transformed the world. The theorist has had the privilege of travelling worldwide teaching
nurses and healthcare providers the theory of human caring. In 1961, Watson graduated from
Lewis Gale School and continued with her studies at the Colorado University where she earned

her B.S. She later earned her M.S in 1966 and acquired her PhD, in the education and counseling
psychology in 1973.
This theory has been applicable in the modern age in that the body of nursing has
increasingly been used as a distinct caring discipline and profession that transform the well-being
of human beings. The aspect of human caring is crucial governs the body of nursing in the sense
that this action is what has enhanced a strong impact in ensuring that all patients are handled well
irrespective of where they are coming from. Dr. Watson’s theory has three major elements that
have been used in the nursing field. These factors include carative factors, transpersonal caring
relationships, and caring moment. Nurses have been encouraged to exercise these aspects at all
cost regardless of challenges that emerge. Nursing practice would change by incorporating this
theory in the sense that, every human being desire to be cared and loved.
Propositions and Concepts of the Theory
To this theory, human beings have the capacity of caring for other human beings.
According to this theorist, human caring is crucial in the nursing profession as it results into the
satisfaction of human needs. When demonstrated in the healthcare institutions, the aspect of
human caring boosts health of individuals and enhances family growth. A caring environment is
crucial as it allows individuals to choose the best actions that improve their lives and those
around them. In essence, the key assumption of this theory is that, interpersonal interaction is
crucial in boosting quality care and this reflects on the human nature of providing and expressing
care in each other.
The theorist defines her theory in ten important factors that promotes healing, health, and
wholeness of the human beings. These ten factors include practicing love and kindness towards

self and other people, instilling faith and encouraging others, nurturing individuals’ beliefs to
have confidence in life, fostering trusting and helping relationships, taking every opportunity as a
way to grow, supporting individual needs, and creative solutions that improves patients’ well-
being. Other factors include creating a positive environment that attends to societal, spiritual, and
physical needs of the patients, fulfilling acts of healing and attending to human needs, and
remaining open to embrace every challenge that emerged in the healthcare industry. The ten
factors regard the need to have self-respect and respect those in leadership. The theory is crucial
in the interventions of interpersonal relationships. Specifically, it creates a strong ground where
healthcare providers or else nurses understand the importance of building strong relationships
both with their colleagues and patients at large. The theory encourages the body of nursing to
embrace the concept of caring, forgiveness, kindness, and compassion in nursing practice
(Meleis, 2007).
Theory Applied Practically
The theory has been used to describe the importance of having a caring approach in the
nursing leadership. Specifically, it provides adequate insights and foundation of how human
caring creates a strong platform to enhance quality m anagement. Leaders can use this theory to
understand and motivate nurses to achieve a guided or structured vision of care. As mentioned,
motivating employees in an organization is crucial as it boosts customer care services. So,
motivating nurses promotes patients’ healing process and wholeness. The theory helps nurse
managers to have an ethical and moral guidelines or else principles that address the problems
that emerge in the administration and in the delivery of patient care (McEwen and Wills, 2011).

Nurse staffing is a crucial aspect that hospitals cannot ignore when delivering patients’
care (McEwen and Wills, 2011). Although many hospitals spend a lot of resources managing the
workflow and optimizing staff hours, much needs to done about caring of nurses. When a
hospital embrace the aspect of caring for its staff, then this will increase nurse retention,
customers or else patients’ satisfaction, and improve the entire delivery of care. Therefore,
understanding the concept of human caring is crucial as it lays a strong ground where nurses are
motivated to perform their tasks. It also lays a strong path for nurses to exercise their duties to
improve the well-being of patients.
Practice Change with the Theory Implementation
A perfect example of how human caring theory can enhance change can be outline in
solving the issue of nurse staffing. According to Brown (2005), nursing leaders can address this
issue by implementing the basic concepts of the theory. For instance, nurse managers can support
nurses to engage in human or else self-care practices and activities that promote love, kindness,
and respect of self and others. Nurse leaders can also develop and implement health policies that
provide healing process, support team work, allows nurses to rest, and help nurses to learn from
one another. In so doing, this would demonstrate how utilizing this theory would enhance a
significant contribution in the work environment and reduce the issue of nurse staffing. This
theory allows nurse leaders to incorporate human caring in depth and ensure that nurses are
working hard to improve the well-being of patients. The impact and connection between nurses’
leaders, nurses and patients are understood by understanding Ken Wilbur’s integrated theory
(Hamric, Spross and Hanson, 2009).



Brown, S. J. (2005). Direct clinical practice. In A.B. Hamric, J.A. Spross, C. M. Hanson (Eds)
Advanced practice nursing: An integrative approach, (3rd ed.). (pp. 143-185). St. Louis,
MO: Saunders Elsevier.
Hamric, A. B., Spross, J. A., and Hanson, C. M. (2009). Advanced practice nursing: An
integrative approach (4th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier.
McEwen, M., and Wills, E. (2011). Theoretical basis for nursing (3nd ed.). Philadelphia:
Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins.
Meleis, A. F. (2007). Theoretical nursing: Development and progress (4th ed.). Philadelphia:
Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins.

Section 3

Borrowed Theorist Biography

Over the years, Wilbur’s theory has been known to support the input of human caring
theory by Jean Watson. Born in 1949 in Oklahoma City, Ken Wilber is the most celebrated and
influential American Philosopher of the modern age. Wilber’s journey to discussing about
human caring has been fascinating. Wilber enrolled at Duke University in 1967 and he became
inspired to influence the world with his teachings. After few years, Wilber enrolled in the
Nebraska University Lincoln where he pursued a degree in biology and chemist and later a
master degree in biochemistry. While in school, Wilber became interested in western and eastern
philosophy and psychology and he established the need to elaborate about consciousness through
which he later used this concept to incorporate integrated theory. In 2000, Wilbur established the

Integral Institute, whose aim was to educate many people about self-awareness. Wilbur believed
that human beings have the responsibility of knowing who they are and further encouraged his
audience to care for self and others. Indeed, the theorist support the theory of human caring
various books such as “Caring Science as sacred science” and the Philosophy and science of
human caring” (McEwen and Wills, 2011).
Theory Applied Practically
Integral theory has had a superb reputation of providing insights about western and eastern
understanding of the consciousness. The theory has been applied to politics, art, business,
medicine, ecology, and spirituality. Through this theory, researchers have established
applications of coaching, leadership, and development. In leadership aspect, the theory provides
insights of leadership theories and further help people to apply them in different perspectives.
The model described by the theorist discusses four models; one that examines the self, collective
aspects, internal, and external aspects. Understanding the four quadrant models creates a strong
platform to enhance an environment that cares for people. Integral theory has also been applied
by instructors at colleges when leading students and enhancing an environment that facilitates
smooth learning experience.
Practice Change with the Theory Implementation
Nursing practice would change by incorporating this theory in the sense that, it creates
insights on the importance of having a strong identity. Through this theory, nurses are
encouraged to know who they are and further work hard to enhance the well being of others.
Indeed, when an individual knows who they are in terms of their strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities, and threats then they are in a better position to do activities that enhance the well

being of people. In the nursing field, it helps nurses to avoid tasks that would deteriorate the well
being of patients. In addition, this theory is appropriate in solving the root issues of staffing. For
instance, by using the quadrant model used by Wilbur namely the self, collective aspects,
internal, and external aspects, nurse leaders can understand the importance of making decisions
that improves the well-being of staff and patients. Having a clear understanding of self may be
vital for leaders in making the decisions that eradicate the issue of nurse staffing. Understanding
how to motivate nurses to perform their tasks effectively would be vital in eradicating the issue
of staffing and improving patients’ health (Dreyfusn and Dreyfus, l986).

Potential Challenges
It is vital to note that, the change does not rely on the most common methods of retention and
recruitment, rather requires the hospital and its management is to have adequate knowledge on
how enact the change required. Thus, applying this theory may be costly especially when
creating awareness to the employees on how to improve their services to patients. Educating and
training employees on the aspect of caring demand a lot of resources. (Alligood and Tomey,
Nurse staffing has been a common challenge faced in most healthcare institutions. Over
the years, this issue has been address through various methods such as additional pay incentives,
and recruitment bonuses. Despite the initiative made to address the issue, the truth of the matter
is that these methods have not fully addressed the root cause of the issue. With this in mind,
applying Integral and human caring theory promotes a caring environment. By applying

Watson’s theory, healthcare leaders understand the importance of having rewards in the
workplace. This theory creates the need to motivate competent and potential employees in the
organization. Despite the benefits that emerge from applying this theory, the truth of the matter is
that it requires adequate training to be effective in the workplace. An organization must invest on
giving rewards to their employees to motivate their effort.



Alligood, M. R., and Tomey, A. M. (2006). Nursing theory: Utilization and Application (3rd
ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier.
Dreyfus, H. L., and Dreyfus, S. E. (l986). Mind over machine: The power of human intuition and
expertise in the era of the computer.New York: Free Press.
McEwen, M., and Wills, E. (2011). Theoretical basis for nursing, 3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA:
Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins.