How to write a nursing essay on Theory, Practice,  and Research (Answered)

How to write a nursing essay on Theory, Practice,  and Research (Answered)

Perspectives drawn from different fields reveal a dynamic and complex relationship between theory, practice, and research. The current focus on evidence-based care and the introduction of value-based purchasing requires the incorporation of the three elements into care delivery (Lor et al., 2017). Nurses must understand how theory leads to research and how research provides knowledge that can be used to influence practice outcomes.

The relationship between theory, practice, and research are cyclical and reciprocal. Effective nursing practice requires the application of knowledge, skills, and the art of science to influence patient outcomes. The theory aspect of nursing entails beliefs that provide the lens through which nurses view clients. Theories help to explain the uniqueness of the nursing profession and define the particular contribution of nursing to the care of clients (Utley et al., 2017). An important part of the knowledge used to influence healthcare decisions is generated through research. In the context of nursing, the research develops knowledge that can be used to support health interventions. Research is also used to generate evidence for the theory aspect to prevent the use of outdated information to make key decisions in healthcare.

The survival of the nursing profession is dependent on the application of theory and evidence from research to inform key decisions. Ideally, research findings are used to support nursing theory and further used to develop a protocol that can be followed during patient care. One can argue that the purpose of research is to build knowledge through the generation of theory and testing the theory (Saleh, 2018). Apart from this aspect, there is a linkage between theory and research where researchers are supposed to use a theoretical framework to guide nursing research. The theory is used to guide nursing research by generating hypotheses that can be tested. The relationship between this two is reciprocal because theory helps to guide research while research helps to test theory and generate more knowledge. For this reason, research can be used to reject some theoretical aspects and provide more room for exploration.

The primary purpose of theory and research is to improve practice by positively influencing patient outcomes. The nursing practice represents the interventions made to address the health concerns of patients alongside other important aspects like advocacy and nursing education (Utley et al., 2017). I believe that nursing practice is the basis for the development of nursing theory and research functions to validate the theory. Despite the advancements in nursing today, there exists a gap between practice and theory. For instance, the theory aspect is thought to be the work of educators and scholars rather than those who practice nursing (Saleh, 2018). In some occasions, nursing theory and practice are viewed as two separate entities that must be proven before application.

Nursing research acts as a connection between the theoretical and practical aspects of the profession. The nursing theory constructs must be explained and tested before they can be applied to practice. Perhaps, this is the reason why the relationship between theory and practice is reciprocal. In today’s increasingly complex and competitive healthcare system, nursing practice must be guided by evidence from research (Lor et al., 2017). The best theories in nursing are informed by practice and the best practices are grounded in nursing theory and supported by evidence from nursing research. To keep the reciprocal and cylindrical relationship between the three aspects, nurses must work to bridge the existing gaps. Working together between scholars and practicing nurses can be the best strategy to bridge the gap between nursing theory, research, and practice.


Lor, M., Backonja, U., & Lauver, D. R. (2017). How could nurse researchers apply theory to generate knowledge more efficiently?. Journal of Nursing Scholarship : An official publication of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing49(5), 580–589.

Saleh, U. S. (2018). Theory guided practice in nursing. Journal of Nursing Research and Practice2(1), 18.

Utley, R., Kristina Henry, D. N. P., & Smith, L. (2017). Frameworks for advanced nursing practice and research: Philosophies, theories, models, and taxonomies. Springer Publishing Company.

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