Borrowed nursing theory is a theory which was originally designed to suite in another discipline, but later adapted also to fit in the nursing profession. However, it is worth understanding that the nursing perspective guides the reconceptualization of existing theories. Synthesis of the borrowed theory with the nursing perspective is essential; otherwise the focus of nursing will continue to remain within other disciplines. Consequently, nursing problems will either not be addressed at all or addressed haphazardly. Therefore, theories from other disciplines must be incorporated into both the nursing milieu and to the nursing image of a human being to be meaningful to nursing (McEwen and Evelyn, 2007).
Nurses heavily borrow theories from physical, biological and behavioral science disciplines and adapt them to nursing situations. As a result, a nursing theory emerges though tracing its origin on the original discipline. A theory that is applicable in two or more different disciplines is referred to as shared theory. Examples of borrowed theories include the Von Bartlaffny’s general systems theory and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs. In a case scenario, nurses can apply the Maslow’s theory to predict the needs that patients have not expressed clearly so that appropriate actions can be undertaken (Fawcett, 2005). For example, when a patient is admitted in the hospital, it is the duty of the nurses to organize a familiarization program for the patient, which helps them relieve anxiety and feel comfortable in the hospital environment.
Existence of borrowed theories certainly implies that unique theories also exist. These are theories which were specifically designed to guide nurses’ decisions, goals and actions that relate to their profession. While formulating these theories, the theorists base their opinions and assertions on experiences and researches that directly relate to ...
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