Nursing Theory for Research and Research-based Practice

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NursingTheory for Research and Research-based Practice

The essentiality of nursing theory in research and interdisciplinaryresearch-based practice cannot be underestimated. Some scholars haveargued that it is not possible to conduct any nursing-relatedresearch without nursing theory (Parahoo, 2014). This implies thatnursing theory has a major function in research and research-basedpractice.

One of the main functions played by nursing theory in research andresearch-based practices is enabling the researcher to decide whatthey know and what they need to know. By defining what they need toknow, researchers define the primary objective of the researchactivity (Smith &amp Liehr, 2013). The nursing theory does this byforming the basis of research through the explicit description ofnursing. Besides, nursing theory ensures that researchers do not gobeyond the scope of nursing in their research. The nursing theoryalso provides clear definitions of the professional boundaries innursing, medicine and healthcare assistance. Without theseboundaries, it is almost impossible to conduct a well-definedresearch activity because these boundaries are never static. Forinstance, the scope of practice of nursing is extending towards thatof doctors while the traditional nursing roles are left to healthcareassistants. Therefore, to define their scope researcher need a cleardefinition of the boundaries. This can only be done by nursingtheory. In addition, nursing theory forms the foundation on which theresearch is built. It is the basis of nursing-related researches(Alligood, 2013). The desire to know more about nursing can only bedriven by a clear prior understanding of the nursing theory thatleaves one with various questions for which they may choose toconduct research.

Unarguable, nursing theory forms the general framework for anynursing-related research and interdisciplinary research-basedpractice (Parahoo, 2014). It helps the researchers to define whatthey know and what they need to know, facilitates definitions of theresearch’s scope and forms the basis of the research.


Alligood, M. R. (2013). Nursing theory: Utilization &ampapplication. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Parahoo, K. (2014). Nursing research: principles, process andissues. Palgrave Macmillan.

Smith, M. J., &amp Liehr, P. R. (Eds.). (2013). Middle rangetheory for nursing. Springer Publishing Company.

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