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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3-9

Exploring issues in theory development in nursing: Insights from literature

1 Lecturer, Department of Adult Health Nursing, Babcock University School of Nursing, Ilishan Remo, Ogun, Nigeria
2 Lecturer, Department of Adult Health Nursing, Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti, Nigeria
3 Nursing Officer, Department of Nursing, Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan Remo, Ogun, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Chinomso Ugochukwu Nwozichi
Babcock University School of Nursing, Ilishan Remo, Ogun State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijcn.ijcn_100_20

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Theory development in nursing profession continues to raise more debates about critical issues. The present study aimed to explore the critical and contemporary issues and concerns about theory viewed from both the discipline- and professional-related perspectives. This narrative literature review was done in 2020. English articles in the electronic databases of Medline, Scopus, PubMed, CINAHL and Google Scholar were searched using the keywords: concerns, issues, nursing theory development, nursing theory construction, nursing discipline and nursing profession, and literature was retrieved and screened for eligibility. The date limit considered in the literature search was from 2010 to 2019. In the initial search, a total of 179 studies were retrieved and assessed for eligibility; 163 studies were eliminated due to not meeting the exact criteria set, leaving only 16 studies that were finally included in the content analysis. Content analysis method was used to extract our findings. Four themes (issues) emerged and were grouped into two overarching categories of discipline-related issues/concerns and profession-related issues/concerns. The four themes were (1) philosophical issues, (2) issues with validation of nursing theories, (3) multiplicity of nursing theories and divergent practice paradigms of nursing and (4) integration of theory into professional practice. This paper offers a promising premise to reconcile various concerns arising from nurses' attempts to develop, use and test theories. Identification and discussion of these issues should inform the nursing profession to plan activities to resolve or reduce them systematically.

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