Constructing a theory
Assesses the following outcome(s):
Module: Reconstruct a nursing theory base on advanced nursing roles.
Where Did Theory Come From
The purpose of this Assignment is to explore how a theorist explicates his or her
philosophy and thoughts behind a theoretical field. As in other fields of study, nursing
has a plethora of theorists and theories. These theorists have developed their
paradigm over time enriching it with research and dialogue with other theorists.
In this assignment, you are going to explore how a nurse theorist of your choice
created his or her theory… Using theorist Madeleine Leininger
You will become the theorist immersing yourself in the writings from the earliest
mentioned to the most current literature.
Writing in the voice of the theorist (taking on the persona of the theorist) create the
theory through the following four stages.
In the first stage, theorizing occurs. This is where you, as the theorist, identify the
concepts of what nursing is and is not. Perhaps you questioned what concepts were
guiding those in nursing practice and then started to question your role. You started
asking yourself, “Where am I in nursing, and where the profession is going? Is there
some overarching concept that guides the professional in his or her practice?” This is
where you recognize that a theory is needed.
In the second stage, syntax is developed. This is where you will define the terms.
Look for changing definitions of terms. Consider, for example, Jean Watson. She
starts by defining the word “caring.” Within the last ten years she has refined her
terminology changing the term caring to caritas. This demonstrates a growth and
maturation from decades of research she and other scholars did to produce the
theory of caring.
The third stage is theory testing. Defined as the phenomena behind the theory that
are exposed through research. The definitions of terms are refined. The theorists and
other researchers consider whether this theory helps answer questions that arise in
practice. This is where your theory is used in by a widening group of researchers. For
example, graduate nursing students request the tool you developed while testing your
The fourth and last stage is evaluation. This is where philosophical debate occurs
as the concepts are applied through evidenced based practice in the act of providing
For this Assignment, you will write on how you developed your theory through the
four stages (theorizing, syntax, theory testing, and evaluation). Your paper must be 3
to 5 pages, not including the title and reference pages. Minimum requirement of at
least five sources of support.
Constructing a theory