Introduction to Middle Range Nursing Theories

There are global areas of knowledge in professional nursing that provide an organizing structure to theory and knowledge development. Nursing is organized by a metaparadigm, which consists of four concepts that define the discipline. The concepts within a metaparadigm help to form a central focus of the nursing discipline. Another way of thinking about this is that a dominant metaparadigm helps form the world view of a discipline (Parker & Smith, 2015). Research, theory, and practice are oriented around this dominant way of thinking about the discipline’s world.

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Reflection

Think about it

Look at the theories in your text, think about the many concepts in those theories, and reflect on the values, beliefs, and principles that were part of your nursing education and are part of your nursing practice. All of these make up the dominant metaparadigm of nursing (Parker & Smith, 2015).

 

Within any profession, there must be a consensus about the concepts of the metaparadigm. For a nursing theory to comprehensively reflect the profession of nursing, each of the key concepts must be addressed, explained, and applied to practice. In doing so, research ideas may be generated, resulting in knowledge development. Once the metaparadigm concepts are agreed upon, theory and knowledge development have organization or a central theme.

Several nursing theorists developed different variations of terms and concepts for the metaparadigm. For professional nursing, consensus in the literature identifies person, environment, health, and nursing as being the concepts within our metaparadigm (Parker & Smith, 2015). This is the most commonly accepted metaparadigm and was initially developed by Fawcett in 1978 and revised in later years.

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