The juxtaposition of the personal and professional is central to professional and ethical practise.
This report will concentrate on the application of theories to nursing practise. It will deal with the importance of applying theories in clinical settings and the effects this can have on quality of care. Barriers to using theory in practise will be explored, as will the roles that practitioners, managers, theorists and educators can play in encouraging the development and use of theory-rooted practise. The use of ‘planned change’ strategies will also be discussed. It is a truism that theories are not being used in a systematic way to guide the delivery of client care.
Many writers also acknowledge that the link between theories and practise is necessary for nursing’s claim to be the provider of professional care. For instance, Chalmers (1989) argues that, without a strong orientation towards the work of theorists and the work of practitioners, the basic requirements for a profession are missing. Botha (49-55) supports this argument and goes further by stating that only if we are able to prove that this link exists will we be ‘legitimate contenders’ for professional status.
Previously, nursing practise has been inclined by traditional knowledge passed down through generations by unconfirmed report and in published textbooks. Without methodical confirmation for practise, nurses have done the best they could in the patients importance. Much of the nursing care offered has been rooted on own knowledge and the knowledges of nurses and others who have left before. Even today, much of mental health nursing practise is still grounded in tradition, disorganised experiment and mistake, and authority, rather than being rooted on sound experimental studies (Wilson, 42-56). Certainly, some mental health nursing knowledge approaches from "Old Wives Tales," reflecting the viewpoints of women from former days.