Theory, Research, and Practice Paper

Theory, Research, and Practice Paper

The synergies between nursing theories, research, and practice enable nurses to translate abstract knowledge to real-life practices to promote patient safety and enhance evidence-based practice. Schmidt & Brown (2019) argue that “practicing nurses focus on unique individuals, researchers focus on systematic collecting knowledge about samples and populations, and theorists focus on abstract knowledge and general knowledge and their interrelationships” (p. 142). Since nurses play a significant role in promoting nursing research and developing theories, understanding the perspectives of each of these groups is fundamental in enhancing knowledge and transforming professional practices.

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Nurses can understand these perspectives by embracing the evidence-based practice (EBP) model that incorporates the best evidence for clinical practices and decisions. The EBP model requires nursing researchers to obtain information from theories, scholarly studies, and other proven sources. According to Schmidt & Brown (2019), nurses engage in similar processes as theorists and researchers by participating in research and theory development. As a result, it is possible to view the perspectives of nurses, theorists, and researchers as complementary because they form intertwined synergies.

Another approach for understanding these perspectives is by embracing the principles of diffusion of innovations. According to Dearing & Cox (2018), diffusion entails the process that occurs among people in response to new ideas and innovations, such as a new evidence-based approach for improving the quality of care. Effective diffusion of innovation and new concepts is consistent with various institutional factors, including communication channels, social systems, and culture. Also, it relies on processes such as knowledge acquisition, persuasion, decision, implementation, and confirmation.

Since nurses are innovators and early adopters of evidence-based practice, they should utilize the new knowledge and evidence to convince themselves about the importance of applying proven strategies for improving the quality of care. Also, they can use communication systems and evidence-based justifications to help colleagues (early majority, late majority, and laggards) better understand the synergies between nursing practice, theories, and research. Notably, nurses’ ability to communicate innovations and transfer information to colleagues promotes faster diffusion of innovation and effective incorporation of evidence-based practice.

References for Theory, Research, and Practice Paper

Dearing, J., & Cox, J. (2018). Diffusion Of Innovations Theory, Principles, And Practice. Health Affairs37(2), 183-190. https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2017.1104

Schmidt, N., & Brown, J. (2019). Evidence-based practice for nurses (4th ed., pp. 133-147). Jones & Bartlett Learning.