Production of a scientific product

Discussion Question:


Guidelines: Support your responses with scholarly academic references (added at the end) using APA style format. Assigned course readings and online library resources are preferred. Weekly lecture notes are designed as overviews to the topic for the respective week and should not serve as a citation or reference.

In your discussion question response, provide a substantive response that illustrates a well-reasoned and thoughtful response; is factually correct with relevant scholarly citations, references, and examples that demonstrates a clear connection to the readings.


Theories are derived from conceptual models and are comprised of concepts and propositions. The only concepts that are common to all nursing theories, in some shape or form, are patient, nurse, health, and environment. These are sometimes referred to as the basic metaparadigms of the nursing domain. Identify two additional concepts that are relevant to your personal practice of nursing and explain how they relate to your practice and why they are important to your practice.

Scholarly academic references

The Theory Era

The theory era began with a strong emphasis on knowledge development. Although in the previous two decades proponents of nursing theory and nursing theorists had begun to publish their works, it is noteworthy that they denied being theorists when they were introduced as such at the 1978 Nurse Educator Conference in New York with the Nursing Theory theme. There was understanding among those attending the conference that the presenters were theorists, and by the second day, the audience responded to their denials with laughter. This seems strange today, but this was the first time most of the theorists even met each other. Their works had grown out of content organization in nursing education courses, nursing practice administration in large agencies, and structures for the thought and action of practice. It was clear that their works were nursing theoretical structures even before they recognized them as such. The theory era, coupled with the research and graduate education eras, led to understanding of the scientific process beyond production of a scientific product Theory forms the foundation of knowledge. Nursing theories form the foundation of nursing practice, research, and education. Throughout your professional life, you will be applying theory and the knowledge derived from theory in your practice environment regardless of the setting. An understanding of the nature of nursing knowledge from a historical perspective will help you relate better to where nursing theory development is today.


Theory is defined as “an organized, coherent, and systematic articulation of a set of statements related to significant questions in a discipline that are communicated in a meaningful whole; a symbolic depiction of aspects of reality that are discovered or invented for describing, explaining, predicting, or prescribing responses, events, situations, conditions, or relationships” (Meleis, 1997, pp. 8,12)1. Thus, a theory is a coherent set of propositions and statements that describe (factor-isolating), explain (factor-relating), and predict (situation-relating) phenomena as well as prescribe (situation-producing) actions toward goals. (Dickoff et al., 1968)2.

Theory development requires perceiving phenomena that are peculiar to nursing and proposing meaningful explanation for these perceptions. The nursing profession identifies four levels of theory—metatheory, grand theory, middle range theory, and practice theory. The theories are classified based on their levels of abstraction or complexity.

A complete structure includes a conceptual model, derived theories, and correlated empirical research methods. Each conceptual model and theory is comprised of concepts and propositions. The complete structure forms a hierarchy that is based on levels of abstraction.

Most abstract: the conceptual model that provides the context or frame of reference for theory-generating and theory-testing research

Intermediate level: the theory that is generated or tested

Most concrete: the empirical research methods used to collect and analyze the data

1Meleis, A. I. (1997). Theoretical nursing: development and progress (3rd ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott.

2Dickoff, J., James, P., & Wiedenbach, E. (1968). Theory in a practice discipline Part 1: Practice oriented theory. Nursing Research, 17(5), 415–435.


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