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Nursing is a dynamic and complex field. Over the years, it has evolved and morphed into what it is today. It is safe to say that it is at its most progressive stage today. This significant progress is owed, to a large extent, to the development of theories and conceptual models. Theories in nursing have been present for decades. However, there has been talking about the need to have a unified nursing theory over the years. Nursing theories and conceptual models have an integral role in developing, improving, and standardization of nursing practice. Many theorists have helped shape and define the nature and scope of nursing practice. Additionally, the development of conceptual models has improved the nature of practice and contributed in great length to the improvement of patient outcomes. This paper evaluates theories and conceptual models from nursing and related fields as used in advanced nursing practice. We will consider mid-range theories and a predominantly influential conceptual model for its purposes.

Conceptual models are backed by evidence and help revitalize approaches to patient care through several facets involved in the provision of care. For instance, Joanne Duffy’s Quality-Caring Model is revolutionary. It attests to the value of nursing within the evidence-based practice, given the nature of modern health care. It leans towards a process that challenges the way things are currently done and puts a lot of emphasis on the power of building valuable relationships. In nursing, caring is considered core. The foundation of this model is the relationship between the nurse and the patient (Connie & Delene, 2021). Duffy posed that nurses should endeavor to build caring relationships to make the patient feel valued and cared for. Such models demonstrated the value of conceptual models in nursing practice. To be a successful APRN leader, collaborative relationships are necessary, whether within teams or with patients and their families. Duffy’s Quality-Caring Model has helped inform the APRN framework aimed at emphasizing caring as a less visible but a core value.

Theories are also essential in the progression and improvement of nursing practice. In recent years mid-range theories have become akin to a fad. They focus on a defined number of variables and are more amenable to empirical testing as compared to grand theories. This means that they have more impact on specific sections of practice. One theory we will evaluate is the comfort theory. This theory is a middle-range theory developed by Katharine Kolcaba in the 1990s. It espouses that the comfort of patients should be the main focus in caring for patients. According to the theory, if primary patient needs as listed by them are met, they are more likely to feel relief and display improved comfort. Kolcaba notes that the essence of comfort is transcendences, relief, and ease. The theory suggests that patients will experience relief and improvement if some of their comfort needs are provided and actualized. The theory captures comfort in three forms: relief, ease, and transcendence.

This theory can be applied in nursing in several steps. First, it involves evaluating a patient’s comfort needs. This will help determine what needs to be provided, changed, or corrected. Secondly, it will involve developing and actualizing relevant nursing care and treatment plans. Finally, another vital part of the implementation process is assessing the patient’s comfort level. This theory is backed by evidence and has found significant success. In practice, this theory was applied in a case. By developing stages of evaluation and data collection, planning, presentation, and care interventions, success was achieved in a 12-year-old epileptic adolescent. Kolcaba’s comfort Framework was applied in developing these stages, resulting in increased patient comfort (Sepahvand et al., 2021).

As has been observed by the conceptual model and mid-range theory discussed, they all have significant value in advanced nursing practice. They inform the framework upon which APRN practice is founded on. Additionally, many other conceptual models and theories have been developed that have improved nursing practice significantly.

 

References

Connie, B., & Delene, V. (2021). Nursing Students’ Perspective of Faculty Caring using Duffy’s Quality Caring Model: A Q-Methodology Study. International Journal of Caring Sciences, 14(1), 18-28.

Sepahvand, F., Valizadeh, F., & Khanjarian, F. (2021). Application of Kolcaba’s Theory of Comfort for a 12-year-old Epileptic Adolescent Admitted to the Emergency Room: a Case Study. Interdisciplinary Journal of Acute Care, 2(1). https://dx.doi.org/10.22087/ijac.2021.146338 (Links to an external site.)

 

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