Relationship Among Theory, Research, and Practice

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Nursing homework help

Week 7

Relationship Among Theory, Research, and Practice

Reflection on Learning Submission


Write 1-2 paragraphs reflecting on the relationship between theory and practice. Then save the reflection as a Word Document for submission.

What were the most important concepts you learned in week 7? Why are these concepts important?

How will they prepare you for your future role as an NP? In what ways do you feel prepared for your new role? In what ways do you feel unprepared?


Relationship Between Research, Theory, and Philosophical Schools of Thought

The relationship between research and theory poses several interesting questions that do not have easy answers. Instead, the viewpoint of the individual asking the question becomes a major element in the answer to the relationship between research and theory. To explore the application of theory to research, the following information is considered.

Research is a critical process or method used by the nursing profession to acquire new knowledge related to its paradigms. To explain the role of theory in research, the initial step is to review the philosophical foundation of the two research methodologies used by all researchers, including nurse researchers (Parker & Smith, 2015).

Quantitative research is based on the received philosophical school of thought (i.e., logical empiricism or positivism). Within quantitative research, the highest values are placed on numerical data gathered through rigor, objectivity, and control. The ultimate goal is to determine a cause-and-effect relationship between variables. Recently, quantitative nurse scholars have been expanding beyond the rigid causal quantitative research methods to include the determination of patterns and trends to describe, explain, and predict phenomena (McEwen & Wills, 2014).

Qualitative research is based upon the contrasting perceived school of philosophical thought. Within this philosophical school, a systemic, interactive, and subjective approach is used to describe and understand human experiences. Nurse scholars using qualitative research methods believe that knowledge (or truth) is complex and dynamic and can be determined only by studying individuals within their naturalistic settings. In other words, separating a person from his or her settings by the rigid control of variables will provide an incomplete and inaccurate picture of the individual living with a chronic illness or some other phenomenon (Parker & Smith, 2015).

There is a complementary relationship between theory and research. Research conducted with either philosophical school of thought can clarify, modify, and/or extend a nursing theory. Basically, there are three different ways the complementary relationship between nursing theory and research occurs. These include the following:

· research ideas and studies that are generated from theory;

· research that tests published theoretical concepts and relationships; and

· research studies that generate or produce a theory.