Repply to my peer’s post:
The internal and external criticism used to evaluate middle-range theories.
Theory in nursing research is essential in providing nursing students with a base upon which to build, and it is this base that ensures that they are provided with the skills necessary for success. Nursing theory is an important part of nursing education. Without the fundamentals of knowledge and information, it would be difficult for nurses to implement their practice (Roy, 2018) successfully. To maintain optimal care, nurses must have the right combination of flexible thinking skills in technical expertise, clinical practices, and interpersonal communication. Preparing nurses to provide appropriate care while staying up-to-date on emerging topics in nursing theory improves their career growth potential.
Internal criticism is used to evaluate the validity and applicability of a theory. To develop a middle-range theory, a researcher must focus on internal and external factors. For example, Boals (1981) suggested that researchers should examine each factor individually and collectively to determine whether a theory could be adapted for use in nursing research. By conducting an internal evaluation of their theories, researchers can check the consistency of the theory with their essential elements and its support from other related theories. Researchers can also evaluate whether they have developed a theory that is accurate enough to be used as a guide for practice. In addition, researchers should look at the correlation between the stages of a theory and the validity and applicability of their findings. External criticism refers to the different ways in which theories can be judged. Researchers should use the guidelines provided in each article to judge the appropriateness and usefulness of a theory and theoretical and empirical validity. External criticism involves examining the theory’s consistency with the information provided by previous research in the same field. Finally, researchers should be aware of the limitations of their study and note alternative explanations to their findings and historical precedents to draw upon.
Middle-range nursing theories include the Primary Nursing Theory and the Theory of the Nursing Process (Brandão, 2019). The primary nursing theory was developed by nursing theorist Katherine Newton who stated that nursing is a “science of caring.” Newton’s theory also helped nurses recognize the value of their role and that what they do is useful. Her theory was extremely important at the time as it built confidence among nurses by giving them a reason for their actions. Her theory places a strong emphasis on the relationship between nurses and patients. The relationship between nurses and patients is considered essential for successful recovery, even if outsiders do not detect it. Nurse theorist Thomas McKeown developed the theory of the nursing process. McKeown argued that the nursing process involved four phases: assessment, planning, action, and evaluation. He also developed a theory of partnership to assist nurses in providing care to patients. His theory was also very important as it gave nurses a different view of their role as caretakers. His innovative ideas used the integration of theory and practice for effective nursing care, which made his theory so important at the time. At times, the application of the theory can be seen as trying to mesh theoretical constructs with clinical practice; perhaps this is one reason why some clinicians cast withers against it.
Brandão, M. A. G., Barros, A. L. B. L. D., Caniçali, C., Bispo, G. S., & Lopes, R. O. P. (2019). Nursing theories in the conceptual expansion of good practices in nursing. Revista Brasileira de Enfermagem, 72, 577-581.
Roy, C. (2018). Key issues in nursing theory: Developments, challenges, and future directions. Nursing Research, 67(2), 81-92.,.5.aspx

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