The Six Criteria Approach for Selecting Nursing Theories

The Clinical Setting Chosen: Critical Care

            The clinical setting to be used for this assignment is critical care. Critical care is the specialized care of patients with life-threatening conditions. These patients require comprehensive care that requires constant monitoring like the case in intensive care units. It is also called intensive care. Patients under critical care units require 24-hour care that includes the use of support machines to monitor any vital signs. Critical care is needed by patients facing life-threatening illnesses and injuries such as severe burns, heart failure, respiratory failure, sepsis, stroke, severe bleeding, heart attack and kidney failure (Balas et al., 2018). There are different equipment used in the critical care units including intravenous (IV) tubes to administer fluids, dialysis machines, oxygen therapy, tracheostomy tubes and catheters. The main objective of clinical care units is to maintain the vital body organ systems of the patients as the health workers strive to improve their condition and overcome the underlying injuries and illnesses. Critical care services are provided by specialized healthcare professionals in units such as post-operative care units, step-down units, pediatric intensive care units and adult intensive care units (Revels et al., 2016). At the core of this care, units are the intensive care unit where medical professionals oversight the patient conditions around the clock so save lives. Six Criteria Approach of Selecting Nursing Theories

Define and Discuss Cloud ComputingUse of the six criteria to select an appropriate theory

            The criterion for selecting an appropriate theory is composed of six factors, just as the title denotes. These factors include the clinical setting, origin of the theory, paradigms as the basis for the choice, simplicity, patient’s needs and understandability. A clinical setting is a unit in the hospital where certain treatments take place. The origin of a theory is the foundation or the basis of what a certain theory discusses. Paradigms are a distinct set of concepts or thought patterns contributing to a certain field. Simplicity is the state of being simple, uncomplicated or uncompounded. Patient needs are the requirements of the patients under different situations that encourage quick recovery while understandability is the presentation of concepts in a manner that encourages easy compression.

Considering the clinical setting chosen for this paper, an appropriate theory must be related to the clinical setting. For instance, the clinical setting chosen in this paper is critical care; a setting that entails taking care of patients who are facing life-threatening conditions. Therefore, an appropriate theory based on this factor must address one or several subsets of critical care. For example, a theory that addresses the needs of patients with life-threatening conditions is appropriate for this setting. A theory that addresses the dynamics of care is also appropriate for this clinical setting. The inclusion criteria under this factor are based on the ability of a theory to address one of the aspects of critical care such as patients facing life-threatening conditions or the dynamics of taking care of patients because that is what critical care entails. Six Criteria Approach of Selecting Nursing Theories

            The origin of the theory to be considered for the clinical setting chosen (Critical Care) must be relatable to the aspects of the clinical setting. A critical care setting is a setting that involves taking care of patients with life-threatening conditions. Therefore, an appropriate theory for the setting must have a background in life-threatening conditions or general care of patients with different conditions. A theory explaining how nurses develop skills and understanding of patient care cannot be considered appropriate for the clinical setting chosen because it does not have a background in any of the two aspects of critical care (life-threatening conditions and caring)

The paradigms or the distinct set of concepts of the theory to be selected for the clinical setting must relate to life-threatening conditions, patient care or both. A theory whose paradigms are not related to the two aspects cannot be considered as an appropriate theory because it will provide irrelevant information on what is required in a critical care setting. Six Criteria Approach of Selecting Nursing Theories

For a theory to be considered appropriate for the setting, it must be simple to understand. This is because simple theories make more specific predictions and the realization of the predictions tends to be more impressive than the realization of the relatively weak predictions of complex theories. For instance, it will be challenging to understand the dynamics of patient care under life-threatening conditions when a complex theory is used as compared to when a simple theory is used. This is because simple theories use simple approaches while complex theories use complex approaches.

            An appropriate theory for the clinical setting selected must address the needs of the patients under the setting. Based on the clinical setting selected for this case (critical care), the patient’s needs revolve around care, just as the title of the clinical setting suggests. A theory that addresses communication as the patient’s need cannot be considered under the selected setting because patients facing life-threatening conditions may not require communication. Similarly, a theory that addresses information as the patient’s need is not appropriate for the clinical setting because patients facing life-threatening conditions do not require information. Six Criteria Approach of Selecting Nursing Theories

Understandability is also a key aspect of an appropriate theory in the clinical setting selected (critical care). This is because theories are meant to simplify concepts and encourage understandability. So, to encourage understandability, the theory chosen must be understandable. A theory that cannot be easily understood will complicate the clinical setting rather than simplifying it while an understandable theory will simplify the clinical setting to make it understandable.

Among other theories that have been covered in this course such as Benner’s novice to expert theory and Nightingale’s environmental Theory, Jean Watson’s Caring Theory stood out as the appropriate theory for the clinical setting selected (Critical care) based on the six criteria above.         Jean Watson’s Caring Theory is concerned with how nurses express care to patients (Clark, 2016). It stresses the humanistic nature of the nursing profession as it intertwines with scientific knowledge and nursing practices. According to Jean Watson’s Caring Theory, caring is an important aspect of patient treatment because it promotes fast healing.

Define and Discuss Cloud Computing            Considering the clinical setting chosen for this paper (Critical Care), Jean Watson’s Caring Theory qualified to be appropriate because it explores one of the key aspects of critical care (caring). This is contrary to other theories covered in this course such as Benner’s novice to expert theory and Nightingale’s environmental Theory which addresses nursing skills and the role of environment in patient care respectively. In his theory, Jean Watson termed holistic caring as a central nursing practice because it promoted health and fast healing.

Based on the origin of the theory, Jean Watson’s Caring Theory is an appropriate theory for critical care because it was founded on the inadequate caring needs of patients that resulted in the loss of one of her eyes. It has also been founded on a tragedy that led to the loss of her husband through suicide because of an insufficient caring environment. All these factors address the aspect of ‘caring’, which is the main aspect of critical care.

The seven paradigms of Jean Watson’s Caring Theory: (1) caring can be demonstrated and practiced interpersonally. (2) Caring consists of carative factors resulting from the satisfaction of certain needs. (3) Effective caring promotes health and growth. (4) Caring responses lead to the acceptance of patients regardless of who they are and what they may become. (5) Caring environments offer patient development and allow them to choose the best actions at any given point in time. (6) The science of caring is complementary to that of curing, and (7) Caring is central to nursing (Nikfarid et al., 2018), which are all based on caring, which is the main aspect of critical care. Regarding the simplicity of Jean Watson’s Caring Theory, the theory has limited terms and explanations that make it easy to understand. Also, the depth within the theory has been intelligently described to make it understandable.

            Jean Watson’s Caring Theory has addressed the patient’s needs in critical care. Just like the title suggests “Care”, the theory addresses the aspect of caring for patients under different conditions. It is also understandable because it has used simple terms with explanations to guarantee understanding even by the readers who do not have in-depth knowledge about the nursing profession.


Balas, M. C., Vasilevskis, E. E., Burke, W. J., Boehm, L., Pun, B. T., Olsen, K. M., … & Ely, E. (2012). Critical care nurses’ role in implementing the “ABCDE bundle” into  practice. Critical care nurse32(2), 35-47.

Clark, C. S. (2016). Watson’s human caring theory: Pertinent transpersonal and humanities concepts for educators. Humanities5(2), 21.

Nikfarid, L., Hekmat, N., Vedad, A., & Rajabi, A. (2018). The main nursing metaparadigm concepts in human caring theory and Persian mysticism: a comparative study. Journal of medical ethics and history of medicine11.

Revels, A., Goldberg, L., & Watson, J. (2016). Caring science: a theoretical framework for palliative care     in the emergency department. International Journal of Human Caring20(4), 206-212.