Application of Theory in Nursing, Education, and Management


Applicationof Theory in Nursing, Education, and Management


Nursing theorieshave been developed to improve patient outcomes and eliminateinefficiencies within the practice. In many instances, practitionersperform their duties without considering the impact of their actionson the healthcare organization. Patients in a facility are theprimary beneficiaries of excellent medical service. In this regard,members of the administration need to apply nursing theories whilemanaging the facility’s personnel and resources. Consequently, thehealthcare organization would improve its medical practice. Thepurpose of the paper is to review how information on nursing theoriescan be applied in administration, management, and education.

Case StudyApplication of Theory in Nursing Administration and Management

Joseph Yangserves as the Director of an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at a newcommunity hospital. Since Joseph is a member of the administrativeteam, he will work with the nursing officers and other directors todevelop an organizational plan for the new hospital.


Joseph and histeam must consider several aspects while planning for their nursingorganization. For example, they must evaluate the extent of workspecialization required to fulfill different roles (McEwen &ampWills, 2014). In this regard, physicians would collaborate withnurses and hospital pharmacists to ensure that patients receiveadequate care. However, work specialization has been shown to causeboredom and low productivity. Hence, Joseph and his team shouldconsider how to assign staff members to accomplish a variety ofactivities. The administrative team must also devise ways ofengendering team work among employees (McEwen &amp Wills, 2014). Inparticular, clinical pharmacists can be required to administermedication along with nursing staff.

Joseph and histeam must also consider the chain of command at the facility. Allemployees should usually be responsible to only one supervisor(McEwen &amp Wills, 2014). However, the administrative team shouldconsider whether the complexity of the organization necessitates theapplication of multiple chains of command. It is also proper todetermine the optimal number of employees that one manager could havein his span of control. Joseph and his team should consider thesupervisor’s quality and experience, the abilities of staffmembers, and the complexity of tasks (McEwen &amp Wills, 2014).Hence, it is easier to make changes in the managerial span ofcontrol.

In addition, theadministrative team must determine the extent of authority andresponsibility exercised by different supervisors. Managers could bedesignated as first-level, middle-level, or tope-level (McEwen &ampWills, 2014). Joseph and his team must also decide whether to use acentralized or a decentralized system of decision-making. The adoptedsystem must incorporate the input from employees, who fulfillfundamental roles. In fact, shared governance can engage and empowerstaff in the decision-making process (McEwen &amp Wills, 2014). Theadministrative team must also decide how to subdivide the hospital’sduties into various departments such as patient care, pastoral care,and central supply.

PriorityConsiderations during Planning

If theadministrative team is composed of transformational leaders, planningwould be guided by several priority considerations. For example, theywould organize numerous events designed to promote cooperation.Teambuilding activities would also encourage employees to revealtheir interests outside of the work environment (McEwen &amp Wills,2014). Besides, the administrative unit would also organize forseminars with motivational speakers. Such forums could be used toeducate staff members on how to fulfill their roles andresponsibilities (McEwen &amp Wills, 2014). Consequently, teammembers would enhance their skills and expertise.

Moreover, theadministrative team would endeavor to reduce the chain of command sothat staff members receive quick feedback. In this manner, noticeabledeficiencies can be corrected in due time. Top-level managers canalso be encouraged to offer feedback in the form of constructivecriticism (McEwen &amp Wills, 2014). The administrative team wouldalso consider the importance of adopting shared governance. In manyinstances, elements of both centralized and decentralizeddecision-making were vital to ensure the realization of patientoutcomes (McEwen &amp Wills, 2014). Therefore, staff members wouldbe provided with numerous opportunities to participate in projectsthat allow for increased responsibility. Employees who demonstratetheir potential can receive monetary rewards. Therefore, theadministrative team would structure the organization in a manner thatallows for growth and career development (McEwen &amp Wills, 2014).Involving coworkers in problem-solving and decision-making bolstersthe level of teamwork and cooperation.

Case StudyApplication of Theory in Nursing Education

Sophia Pham is anew faculty member in an Associate Degree Nursing program at a localcommunity college. She has been assigned to a task force that isreviewing and redesigning the curriculum. Notably, the college servesa diverse but low-income community.


Curriculum refersto the processes and content by which learners in an institution gainknowledge and develop skills (Oberleitner, 2014). Sophia and hercommittee are required to review and redesign the curriculum so thatit can benefit the first-generation college students. Notably, theinstitution has been using a curricular or conceptual framework basedon the nursing process (Oberleitner, 2014). In this regard, thecommittee must consider several factors.

Firstly, Sophia and her team must determine the best approach to usewhen developing an organizational framework. Faculty members coulddecide to base the curriculum on a single, specific nursing theory(Oberleitner, 2014). Alternatively, they may prefer to utilize a moreeclectic approach. The latter method would require the facultymembers to select different concepts from multiple models ortheories. Sophia’s team should consider the benefits and drawbacksof using either approach. Using a single theory would require thefaculty to adopt the model and use its relationships and definitionsto organize and structure content (Oberleitner, 2014). It would alsohelp by providing defined vocabulary items that were shared by boththe teacher and the learner. However, using a single theory led tothe definitions of central concepts that were too abstract forlearners to grasp. On the other hand, most faculty teams combinediverse concepts and theories while developing a nursing framework(Billings &amp Halstead, 2015). Sophia and her team can use theeclectic approach to incorporate definitions that align with thefaculty’s values and beliefs. Nevertheless, such concepts andtheories must be specifically defined for the new curriculum(Oberleitner, 2014). An eclectic approach must explain therelationships between models and hence hinders the creation of aunique body of knowledge.

Secondly, Sophiaand her team must determine the concepts that would be covered in thenew curriculum. The faculty should identify the major elements thatwill provide a basis for the sequencing and organization of content(Oberleitner, 2014). The first-year students should learn fundamentalconcepts concerning nursing, environment, health, and person.Subsequently, the faculty can consider whether other elements such asadaptation, self-care, nursing process, and caring should be added tothe framework (Oberleitner, 2014). The faculty should also decidewhether to use additional devices to structure the material.

Besides, Sophiaand her team should decide what sequencing or ordering to use forintroducing the theories and concepts to students. The faculty shouldalso consider what structuring to use when delineating therelationships among various models (Oberleitner, 2014). In thisrespect, the curriculum must be designed in a manner that will enablestudents to attain desired educational outcomes. Sophia and her teamshould consider whether to structure their content based on variablessuch as physiologic systems, developmental stage, or location(Oberleitner, 2014). The organization of concepts should be logicallyconsistent.


Sophia and herteam could decide to offer some of the nursing content online. Inthis respect, the committee should consider three crucial factors.Firstly, Sophia and her team must evaluate whether the instructorsare proficient in using such technologies (Oberleitner, 2014).Educators need to know multiple ways of presenting the content tolearners. Instructors must also be equipped to apply various learningtheories. Furthermore, educators should be prepared to invest moretime in teaching online courses (Billings &amp Halstead, 2015).

Secondly, thecommittee must consider the capacity of learners to benefit fromonline courses. As first-year students, it may be quite challengingfor them to adapt to web-based programs (Oberleitner, 2014). Thefaculty may also be concerned about providing such learners withextensive foundational knowledge. Since the institution comprised offirst-generation students, providing some nursing content onlinecould hamper future learning theories.

Furthermore, thecommittee must consider technology management and the type of mediato use (Oberleitner, 2014). The institution should evaluate theextent of resources at its disposal. The faculty must provideinstructors with manuals to familiarize them with electronicmodalities of the required technology (Oberleitner, 2014).Consequently, the online courses can be defined in a manner thatenables learners to conduct self-paced, independent study.


Billings, D. M., &amp Halstead, J. A. (2015). Teaching innursing: A guide for faculty. St. Louis, Mo: Elsevier HealthSciences.

McEwen, M. &amp Wills, E. (2014). Application of Theory in NursingEducation. In Theoretical basis for nursing (4th ed., pp.479-94). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams &ampWilkins.

Oberleitner, M. G. (2014). Application of Theory in NursingAdministration and Management. In Theoretical basis for nursing(4th ed., pp. 452-75). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/LippincottWilliams &amp Wilkins.