This article is about nursing theories and how and if we need them. It is important to discuss if and not least why nurses should use nursing theory. The purpose of the article is therefore to discuss nursing theory in a broad sense. The article starts with an argument directed at why it is as topical as ever to focus on nursing theory. Then the term and concept is defined. Lastly, a case is made for why and how nurses should use nursing theory.
The role of theory in clinical nursing practice is an issue at the core of how knowledge is used in clinical practice. The role of theory in clinical nursing practice is viewed from the perspective of knowledge-use in practice, and is examined in the context of the nature of nursing practice and the structure of nursing knowledge. The role of theory in clinical nursing practice is at two levels: a general, un-specified level and a particularistic, situation-specific level. At the general, un-specified level, the theory’s role is to establish orientations and commitments to nursing perspectives and the philosophies of practice to be embedded in all instances of nursing practice. On the other hand, at the particularistic, situation-specific level, the theory’s role is to provide theoretical rationales to guide the ways specific nursing actions are produced in clinical situations. Nursing practice becomes knowledge-based by integrating these two levels of theory-use in clinical situations.
Nursing is based on the positive principles of health. However, there is a call for more knowledge on how to implement nursing based on these principles.
The purpose of this article is to shed light on how the salutogenic model can be used as a tool for nursing when health is the main target.
This is illuminated through four knowledge levels in nursing including the salutogenic model, theoretical elaborations of the model, and how to implement salutogenic nursing.
A salutogenic approach includes how to understand the basic assumptions of health and how to increase Sense of Coherence and General Resistance Resources when the main aim is to facilitate coping with health challenges in everyday life, thus strengthening health. It is revealed that the salutogenic model and the theoretical elaborations of the model seem fruitful as a theoretical framework for salutogenic nursing.
We need further theoretical elaborations and research to increase the knowledge foundation in salutogenic nursing.