Nursing Theorists and Their Work


Question 1

Neuman’s systems model (NSM) is a key theory that is applicable to nursing practice, education and research. The model is an important theory in the field of nursing that is predicated on a person’s relationship to environmental stressors and his or her reactions to the stressors, in addition to reconstitution factors which are inherently dynamic (Rich, 2013). With respect to nursing practice, the systems model as formulated by Neuman facilitates holistic, goal-directed, and unified approaches to care of clients (Alligood, 2014). In addition, the model outlines a comprehensive client system, in addition to a categorization of stressors which can be comprehended and utilized by all healthcare team members (Alligood, 2014). Neuman’s model is applicable to nursing practice since it perceives the client to be a holistic system that is constant interaction with their environment (Smith & Parker, 2015). Based on the model, the nursing process encompasses three fundamental steps, namely nursing outcomes, diagnosis, and goals. The model is also applicable in multidisciplinary care as exemplified by its use in helping guide nursing teams in their holistic care approaches involving older adults with hip fracture (Alligood, 2014).

Neuman’s systems model (NSM) is applicable to nursing education. The theory is widely acclaimed in academic circles and applied in multiple countries across the world. Alligood (2014) contends that the theory’s holistic viewpoint provides a crucial framework for education in the field of nursing at multiple levels. Today, numerous degree programs employ NSM as a fundamental conceptual framework for curriculum development. According to Alligood (2014), nursing graduates utilize the model in their role as caregivers and apply a NSM-based viewpoint in their subsequent practice. Indeed, numerous nursing colleges rely on key facets of Neuman’s model to formulate their curriculum. NSM is also pivotal to clinical learning. In the realm of clinical learning, NSM may be employed to enlighten nursing students concerning ways of promoting and enhancing community health. In addition, the model may be used by nursing students as a critical framework to collate data obtained from patients. Alligood (2014) asserts that NSM is applicable to nursing education with respect to clinical simulation. The model may be used in clinical simulation environments to enhance critical thinking through the use of model concepts (Alligood, 2014). 

Neuman’s systems model is applicable to nursing research. Given that key aspects of the nursing profession are scientific disciplines, NSM provides a crucial conceptual framework that allows for the advancement of the nursing field. Rich (2013) posits that there exists a link between the structure of Neuman’s model and variables of the system, as well as those of the unique individual. The different variables thus form a key basis for nursing research. Alligood (2014) notes that NSM application in nursing research assumes the form of a comprehensive conceptual framework primarily because it is relevant to qualitative and quantitative research designs. A key example of a qualitative research study that applies the model may include a study on the changes in attitudes exhibited patients admitted to the emergency department. Additionally, NSM may be applied in quantitative research studies such as those related to the impact of work overload on nurse burnout. Graduate nursing students also utilize NSM for theses, as well dissertations (Alligood, 2014). According to Alligood (2014), NSM is widely used to formulate conceptual frameworks in research, particularly within the US. As such acceptance of the theory by researchers in the field of nursing is pretty apparent.

Question 2

As a newly graduated nurse administrator, there are various steps and actions embodying the quality of care and administrative practice that I would take. One such action would entail lobbying the organization’s management to decrease the nurse to patient ratios in an attempt to optimize the quality of care. Another key action would be eliminating factors such as overwork for nurses, which lead to nurse burnout and ultimately low-quality care for patients. With respect to performance appraisal, I would institute measures aimed at evaluating the performance of nurses on a biannual basis. The evaluation would entail examining the performance of nurses, skills improvement, achievements, as well as requisite growth. In addition, the performance appraisal would involve the creation of a comprehensive rewards and compensation system for nurses who demonstrate remarkable performance and achievement. I would also endeavor to promote a promotion system for nurses who demonstrate improvement in skills over the course of the performance appraisal. 

As a newly graduated nurse administrator, I would also take actions and decisions that embody professional knowledge. One such action would entail promoting the application of evidence-based nursing practice within the organization’s precincts. This would not only enhance the professional knowledge of nurses but also enhance the quality of care given to patients. Another key action embodying professional knowledge would entail the application of nursing theories such as Neuman’s systems theory in nursing practice. With reference to a professional environment, examples of actions I would take revolve around the treatment of patients by nurses, as well as the professionalism demonstrated by nurses in patient care. I would seek to promote a culture where nurses treat patients with utmost respect and professionalism. Moreover, I would endeavor to ensure that nurses follow the instructions of doctors particularly with regard to the administration of prescription medicine.

Key decisions and actions I would take in my capacity as a nurse administrator would embody ethics, as well as collaboration. With respect to ethics, one such action would include respect for patient autonomy. I would endeavor to ensure that nurses respect the wishes of all patients in line with the patients’ right to autonomy. Another key action would entail promoting honesty at all practice levels in line with the ethical standards set out by the American Nurses Association (ANA). According to Chang and Daly (2015), collaboration in the context of nurse administration helps develop mentoring relationships in healthcare organizations. As a nurse administrator, I would seek to collaborate with my fellow nurses, healthcare practitioners, as well as top-level management in a bid to enhance the quality of care within the organization. The collaboration would entail liaising with top-level management on areas that require financial input. 

As a newly graduated nurse administrator, I would also seek to take actions that embody research, as well as prudent resource utilization. With respect to research, I would actively seek to find new research related to the field of nursing and look for ways of implementing the findings of research that is geared to enhancing the quality of patient care. In addition, I would participate in any research linked to nursing practice within the organization. With reference to resource utilization, I would endeavor to influence other nurses under my guidance to utilize available resources prudently. In addition, I would lobby the hospital’s management to institute rule and regulations that outline the obligations of nurses with respect to resource use. 

Question 3

In dealing with management challenges, Marjorie should prioritize those that have the capacity to impede her ability to carry out her responsibility and require less time and effort to solve. This approach is consistent with the systems theory which postulates that management is made up of interrelated and interdependent parts that operate logically to attain goals (Roussel, 2006). Under the theory, conflict is perceived as an opportunity with open systems that facilitate dynamic interchanges such as nurse-doctor relationships and closed systems that limit exchange (Roussel, 2006). In Marjorie’s case, the conflict between her and other nurses at Sacred Heart Hospital provides an opportunity for dynamic interchanges between the conflicting parties. 

In line with the systems theory, Marjorie should commence with the management challenge that involves a female nurse who has been making suggestive remarks and telling inappropriate sexual jokes to a male nurse, primarily because this challenge can be solved within a short time period. In addition, its successful resolution will pave the way and make it easier to solve the other management challenges she is facing. Marjorie may employ one of two strategies to solve the above-mentioned management challenge. First, she may summon the female nurse and issue a verbal warning detailing the potential consequences in the event that she fails to refrain from such conduct. Second, Marjorie could refer the female nurse to the hospital’s top level management, after which the management will be in a position to take appropriate action. The action taken by the management in this instance would have to be in line with relevant legal and ethical statutes.  

The second management challenge that Marjorie should deal with is the one involving her concern that many of the nurses do not accord her the respect and authority that her new position demands. Giving second priority to this challenge is crucial because Marjorie’s authority is pivotal to avoiding the recurrence of the cases involving disrespect emanating from nursing staff. In solving this management challenge, Marjorie can employ different strategies. One such strategy could entail lecturing the nurses under her authority about the professional practice standards that are expected of them. According to the professional performance standards set out by the American Nurses Association, registered nurses bear responsibility for their actions to their patients, as well as their peers who include nurse leaders (American Nurses Association, 2010). 

Marjorie’s third priority should include solving the management challenge involving the hospital CEO’s request to create an evaluation system to measure both patient satisfaction and nursing performance. In an attempt solve this challenge, Marjorie could develop key metrics that can be used to estimate patient satisfaction and nursing performance. Such metrics may include patient outcomes, verbal expressions of satisfaction and feedback from hospital staff. Marjorie’s last priority should be the management challenge involving her desire to implement a new-evidence-based nursing council which is hampered by informal leaders within the nursing staff. In solving this challenge, Marjorie may employ one of two strategies. First, she could convene a meeting with the informal leaders of the nursing staff in which she could attempt to explain the merits of an evidence-based nursing council. Alternatively, she could seek the backing of the informal leaders who support the council to help convince the other informal leaders about the significance of implementing the evidence-based nursing council. 

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  1. Alligood, M. R. (2014). Nursing theorists and their work. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier Health Sciences.
  2. American Nurses Association. (2010). Nursing’s social policy statement: The essence of the profession. Silva Spring, MD: Nursesbooks. org.
  3. Chang, E., & Daly, J. (2015). Transitions in nursing: Preparing for professional practice. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier Health Sciences.
  4. Rich, K. L. (2013). Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing practice. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
  5. Roussel, L. A. (2006). Management and leadership for nurse administrators. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
  6. Smith, M. C., & Parker, M. E. (2015). Nursing theories and nursing practice. Philadelphia, PA: FA Davis.
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