Theory, Research, and Practice Paper

Theory, Research, and Practice Paper

Theory, Research and Practice Paper

Theory, Research, and Practice Sample

Patient care is multifaceted, implying that healthcare professionals apply multiple strategies to address patient needs. An evidence-based approach dominates the current nursing practice and includes three essential components: clinical expertise, scientific evidence, and patient values and preferences. The primary purpose of utilizing evidence-based practice (EBP) is to achieve high-quality and safe care and optimize the validity of the methods applied to improve processes and outcomes. As nurses strive to achieve the best care for patients, the importance of theory, research, and practice cannot be overlooked. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to analyze the importance of theory, research findings, and practice as it relates to EBP and a summary of a scenario where theory supports EBP.

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Importance of Theory

Nurses do not primarily depend on their knowledge in decision-making. They utilize other knowledge-based concepts and approaches to care relevant to nursing practice. Gasaba et al. (2021) described a nursing theory as a set of concepts explaining, describing, and predicting health phenomena. A theoretical approach to health issues helps providers to focus on what is important and meaningful while providing a structured approach to solving health problems. Theories are crucial in EBP since nurses must plan care interventions purposefully and systematically. They also give more knowledge to guide nursing practice and guide health care professionals in decision-making (Ramis et al., 2019). Generally, an evidence-based approach denotes a practice based on evidence. Theories are generalized concepts from reviews and practice experiences that guide healthcare professionals in making informed decisions. They are sources of knowledge that help nurses understand the practice and its implementation as they implement meaningful interventions.

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EBP prompts health care professionals to translate research evidence to clinical practice to ensure care meets patients’ expectations. The most reliable source of research is scholarly, peer-reviewed articles such as systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials, and cohort studies. Li et al. (2019) suggested that research findings exhibit a persuasive need for improving knowledge and implementing EBP in clinical practice. If differently stated, research findings confirm the suitability of an intervention as applied to a different situation related to a current practice problem. For instance, a randomized controlled trial on reducing infections or readmissions in medical-surgical wards is a valuable source of research findings that nurses can implement in the current practice to improve patient outcomes.


Clinical practice is an essential component of EBP that enhances knowledge of patient care issues, attitudes, and practice guidelines. Through continued practice, healthcare professionals gain valuable experience on specific issues hampering care and areas where quality improvement is essential. Clinical experience also allows nurses to understand patients’ values, preferences, and behaviors. Irrespective of their specialties, healthcare professionals should adhere to professional standards and practice guidelines. Accordingly, clinical practice allows them to understand patient care essentials, ethical guidelines, and standard professional requirements. The experience gained through practice empowers nurses to implement EBP accurately, ethically, and professionally.

Application of Theory to a Scenario

The scenario involves improving wound care in the medical-surgical unit for postoperative patients. The nurse manager and unit-based council recommend changes in the discharge teaching plan to include specific information addressing wound care. There are two essential components of quality improvement and EBP evident in this scenario- change and literature review. Change is necessitated by inefficiencies in the discharge teaching plan, while the literature review provides research evidence for improving the plan. 

The entire scenario involves knowledge translation which can be based on scientific evidence, clinical expertise, or theory. In clinical practice, theoretical constructs guide healthcare providers in examining and understanding concepts in a generalizable manner. Its central aspects, concepts and statements, describe and predict a phenomenon (Gasaba et al., 2021). Through theory, nurses collect data, interpret it, and make appropriate changes in patient care from the perspective of the theorist. Gasaba et al. (2021) further noted that theories guide nursing practice, and their constructs are the foundation of clinical decision-making. A theoretical approach to improving the discharge teaching plan for wound care in the medical-surgical unit would prompt the nurse manager and unit-based council to have adequate theoretical data to plan and implement care. They have already done so through a literature review. The review findings will further guide them in implementing the deliverables of the discharge teaching plan to achieve better care outcomes in the medical-surgical unit. Implementing the findings is the foundation of an EBP approach to care.


Theory, research, and practice are essential in evidence-based practice. They provide knowledge-based concepts and approaches to implement care to achieve EBP goals. Theory-based strategies enhance clinical knowledge and behaviors for EBP. Research is the source of scientific evidence that enhances accuracy in implementation and guides healthcare providers in adopting the right interventions for patient care. Clinical practice provides essential experience for understanding EBP essentials, implementation, and clinical guidelines. The scenario exemplifies the application of theory in decision-making and the relevance of research from a literature review. Applying such an approach ensures that practice change is accurate, rational, and backed by adequate evidence.


Gasaba, E., Ntiranyibagira, B., Joseph, I., Uwamariya, T., Nkurikiye, E., Hategekimana, P., … & Niyongabo, E. (2021). Nursing theory and its practices in two health care facilities of Bujumbura. Open Journal of Nursing, 11(9), 757-771.

Li, S., Cao, M., & Zhu, X. (2019). Evidence-based practice: Knowledge, attitudes, implementation, facilitators, and barriers among community nurses-systematic review. Medicine, 98(39), e17209.

Ramis, M. A., Chang, A., Conway, A., Lim, D., Munday, J., & Nissen, L. (2019). Theory-based strategies for teaching evidence-based practice to undergraduate health students: A systematic review. BMC Medical Education, 19(1), 1-13.

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Theory, Research, and Practice Paper

Write a paper that analyzes the importance of theory, research findings, and practice as it relates to evidence-based research. Then, using the provided scenario and a current peer-reviewed article you identified, summarize how the aspects of a theory would help support evidence-based research into the problem described in the scenario.

Use the following headings and address in your paper:

Importance of Theory (In this section, analyze the importance of theory as it relates to EBP)
Research (In this section, discuss the research findings related to EBP)
Practice (In this section, discuss the practice related to EBP)

Scenario: During the course of your practice as a staff nurse on a medical-surgical unit, the nurse manager and unit-based council state that discharge teaching for postoperative patients will now include information pertaining to wound assessments, care, and dressing changes (as needed). The basis for this change stemmed from the unit consensus about postoperative readmissions with wound infections. The unit-based council performed a review of the literature and has decided to implement a discharge teaching plan that will include specific information addressing wound care.

Create a three page paper using current APA formatting. Your paper must be a minimum of three full pages. Your paper should include headings, title page, and reference page which is not part of the page/word count. Title page must include title of paper, your name, school, course, faculty name/title and date. References must be current (five years and less to date) and credible. Three references are required for this paper. Identify one research article pertaining to this problem (the article must be from nursing research from the United States, which was published within the last five years from a peer-reviewed journal). Suggestions for finding an article include use of the library and journal articles posted to the Internet.

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