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Discuss the Suchman's Stages of Illness nursing model and how it would be appropriate to an advanced nursing role.

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Discuss the Suchman's Stages of Illness nursing model and how it would be appropriate to an advanced nursing role.

Module III will provide a foundation for understanding, critiquing, evaluating, and using theory and research in practice. A historical overview of the development of nursing research along with future projections will also be provided. The focus of various types of research and their contributions to advances in health and medicine will be explained.

It is vital that the advanced professional nurse understand the importance of applying models and theories to practice.  Theories in nursing have been developed to explain phenomena important to clinical practice. Applying nursing theories to practice helps to organize data, understand and analyze patient data, and make sound decisions related to interventions. The health care arena continues to perceive a theory to practice gap but when using a theory or model to guide practice the advanced professional nurse is able to determine if client outcomes are being met. 

The purpose of nursing theory is:

In Practice

  • Assist nurses to describe, explain, and predict everyday experiences.
  • Serve to guide assessment, interventions, and evaluation of nursing care.
  • Provide a rationale for collecting reliable and valid data about the health status of clients, which are essential for effective decision making and implementation.
  • Help to describe criteria to measure the quality of nursing care.
  • Help build a common nursing terminology to use in communicating with other health professionals. 
  • Ideas are developed and words are defined.
  • Enhance autonomy (independence and self-governance) of nursing through defining its own independent functions. 


In Education:

  • Provide a general focus for curriculum design.
  • Guide curricular decision making.


In Research:

  • Offer a framework for generating knowledge and new ideas.
  • Assist in discovering knowledge gaps in the specific field of study.
  • Offer a systematic approach to identify questions for study; select variables, interpret findings, and validate nursing interventions.
  • Approaches to developing nursing theory.
  • Borrowing conceptual frameworks from other disciplines.
  • Inductively looking at nursing practice to discover theories/concepts to explain phenomena.
  • Deductively looking for the compatibility of a general nursing theory with nursing practice.
  • Questions from practicing Nurse about using Nursing theory.

 Many professional nurses practice skills are based on medical expertise. However, nursing models are, by nature, holistic and do not follow the medical model. Even in direct care, these holistic models are used as nurses address the spiritual, developmental, and social needs of their patients.

Medical models of patient care emphasize diagnosis and treatment of disease. Nursing models consider human responses to illness. A holistic approach is used to address illness, promote health, and prevent disease. Interpersonal skills and patient and family education are integral components of blended medical and nursing care (Anderson & O’Grady, 2009).


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