Overview of Nursing Theory: Watson’s Caring Theory

Purpose of the Assignment

This assignment provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate the ability to write a well-developed paper and apply a selected nursing theory to an actual practice situation. Your Theory-Based Exemplar Paper (TEP) needs to demonstrate the utility and application of a nursing theory.

General Guidelines

This is a formal, scholarly paper which must include references. Be sure to cite references for content related to your selected nursing theory. For example, cite other examples from the literature that demonstrate the use of the theory in practice and any other information in your paper that is not your own work.

Be sure to cite these references in the body of the paper and on the reference page(s). All references cited in the body of paper must be listed on the reference page at the end of the paper in current APA format. The final paper must be 8–10 pages and utilize at least 4 scholarly sources.The title page and reference page(s) do not count towards the specified length requirement.

Use the following headings for your paper (in current APA format):

  1. Introduction

Articulate your purpose/point of paper.Pull the readers in, make them interested in reading your paper, and state the purpose of your paper (what youaretrying to accomplish).

  1. Overview of Nursing Theory

For your paper, specify selected theory in your title (e.g., “Overview of Watson’s Caring Theory”). Provide readers with basic information and concepts related to your selected theory (be sure to include pertinent primary references [written by the theorist] to the theory so that the reader may access this information for further exploration).This is not a “term” paper or “critique” of the selected theory, but you need to provide enough information for readers so that they can clearly understand the application and “fit” of the selected nursing theory to your exemplar/story.

  1. Exemplar: My Encounter with M.J.

Adapt title/heading as you see fit for your exemplar/story. This section of the paper includes a verbatim (narrative) report of your patient/nurse experience that you will then reflect on when you discuss how this particular nursing practice experience fits with your selected theory.

For example, one student wrote an exemplar paper about a patient/nurse encounter that clearly involved the major concepts and elements of Orem’s Self Care Theory. After sharing her story, the student was able to discuss how Orem’s Theory applied to how she cared for her pre-op patient.

  1. Discuss Application of Theory

Highlight aspects of your “story;” explain how the story/experience fits with theory,makes sense, etc. Paraphrasing aspects of your story or the inclusion of direct quotes from the above section helps to validate how your exemplar ties into the theory.

  • Conclusion

This section includes the “take away” from your paper. What can readers conclude from your paper, your exemplar experience (e.g., your exemplar promotes use of theory— reinforces how your selected theory is practical, useful, facilitates improved patient outcomes, etc.)?

See the Listing of Selected Established Theories and Theorists document for theory and theorist examples to use in your paper.

Other Helpful Tips and Resources

It is highly recommended you obtain the articles listed below via Liberty University’s Interlibrary Loan for examples of papers that share narrative stories that demonstrate application of nursing theory or provide information to educate nurses about promotion of better outcomes with patients. A few of the articles address issues related to peer review and publication. You may also conduct your own literature review of nursing research databases such as Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL) or PubMed (a free database) to retrieve other examples of articles that discuss application of nursing theory to practice.

Recommended Articles

Bultemeier, K. I. (2012). Nursing in Malawi: Nursing theory in the movement to professionalize nursing. Nursing Science Quarterly, 25(2), 184–186.

Capasso, V. A. (1998). The theory is the practice: An exemplar. Clinical Nurse Specialist, 12(6), 226–229.

Gigliotti, E. A. (2002). A theory-based clinical nurse specialist practice exemplar using Neuman’s Systems Model and nursing taxonomies. Clinical Nurse Specialist, 16(1), 10–16.

McCrae, N. (2011). Whither nursing models? The value of nursing theory in the context ofevidence-based practice and multidisciplinary health care. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 68(1), 222–229.

Spear, H. J. (2002). Applied concepts of holistic nursing: Experiencing the death of my mother: A daughter and nurse’s perspective.  Journal of Holistic Nursing, 20(2), 187–200.

Thompson, G. T. (2005). The concept of presencing in perioperative nursing. AORN Journal, 82(3), 465–466, 468.

NOTE: Gelene Thompson is a graduate of Liberty University’s Master of Science in Nursing program who published her Exemplar Paper that she initiated in the theory course. Her paper did not look like the final product when submitted for this class; it was edited, further developed, etc. before it was in publishable form. (Your paper is not expected to be ready for publication. Consider it a beginning draft or a work in progress.However, the more you put into it up front, the more likely it will be that you will have a paper with potential for future publication.)

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