Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Understanding the Work of Nurse Theorists

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Understanding the Work of Nurse Theorists

Article excerpt

Understanding the Work of Nurse Theorists by Kathleen Sitzman and Lisa Wright Eichelberger; Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2004; 185 pages, $34.95

Nursing theory can he difficult for students at all levels to understand. Designed for baccalaureate nursing students and using aesthetic methods to introduce scholarship, this book is different from any book on nursing theory published in the past. By emphasizing that theory is relevant to present and future nursing practice, and that students are not expected to become experts, Understanding the Work of Nurse Theorists provides opportunities (or creativity, curiosity, and inventiveness for those seeking to discover what the theorists really thought.

The book starts with a simple review of nursing theory, explains why theories are important to nursing, and discusses the use of theory in research, education, and practice. Each section includes questions that can be used to stimulate discussion, such as, "Is it possible to firmly determine which theories are correct?" It is made clear that nursing practice is tied to human interaction and that precise conclusions are often not possible when dealing with human science.

The chapters that follow focus on the development of nursing theory and testing and evaluating theories. A highlight is the use of art to elucidate theory. For example, the author uses works by the the postimpressionist painter Georges Seurat to teach the theories that define nursing, those of Nightingale, Henderson, Weidenbach, and Watson. Seurat used pointillism to create vibrant depictions of everyday life. With pointillism, tiny dots of pure color are applied to a canvas. When viewed from a distance, the eye mixes the colors to create different shades and hues. …

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