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Sep 28, 2023



Nursing is a dynamic and evolving profession that relies heavily on the development and application of nursing knowledge and theory. These fundamental aspects not only define the profession but also play a pivotal role in advancing it. In this essay, we will explore the importance of nursing knowledge and theory development in shaping the nursing profession and discuss how the application of nursing theory can benefit both individual nurses and the profession as a whole. Additionally, we will reflect on the evolution of our perspective since the Week 1 discussion and identify a nursing theory that holds the potential for significant impact on our professional practice.

Defining the Nursing Profession

Nursing knowledge and theory development are essential for defining the nursing profession (Chinn & Kramer, 2018). Nursing knowledge encompasses the scientific, theoretical, and practical understanding that underpins nursing practice. It serves as the foundation upon which nurses make informed decisions, provide quality care, and continuously improve patient outcomes. Nursing theory, on the other hand, provides a systematic framework for understanding and organizing nursing knowledge (Alligood, 2018). It helps nurses conceptualize and explain their actions, contributing to the professionalization of nursing by offering a structured body of knowledge.

Nursing theory also aids in distinguishing nursing from other healthcare professions. For example, nursing theories like Florence Nightingale’s Environmental Theory emphasize the holistic care of patients and the role of the environment in healing (Nightingale, 1859). This distinct approach sets nursing apart from medicine and other healthcare disciplines, reinforcing the unique identity of the nursing profession.

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