Competency 3

Analyze gaps between theory and practice.



This reflection is comprised of 2 sections, collectively totaling a minimum of 500 words. This reflection activity is meant to help build your knowledge around theory and practice in preparation for your competency assessment. 


Complete your reflection by responding to all prompts. 


Theory-Practice Gap

Fundamentals of Nursing Models, Theories, and Practice discusses the theory-practice gap in detail in many chapters. As you have read throughout the course, there is an ongoing discussion about the connection between theory and practice and the application in day-to-day nursing activities. This reflection is designed to illustrate that although there may be a gap, other factors play an important role in decision-making and each aspect of theory, research, and practice experience are integral to well-rounded patient care.


Review Figure 1.4, “Correlation: Education, Science and Practice,” in Fundamentals of Nursing Models, Theories, and Practice.


Think of a scenario in which theory, research, and practice interact to create positive patient outcomes and answer the following: 

  • Describe the chosen theory, research, and practice guideline or standard.
  • Explain the relationship between the three and discuss the role each plays in quality patient care in the scenario.
  • Explain any gaps, such as a lack of research, no practice standard, or no usable theory.
  • Determine the best course of action for making decisions in the absence of one aspect.


Include documentation of the practice guideline or standard and your corresponding research, evidence, or literature example.


Cite your research and practice guidelines in the text. 

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Theory–Practice Gap assignment
Watson’s Theory of Human Care Theory–Practice Gap theory is concerned on how nurses express care to patients. It stresses on humanistic aspects of the nursing profession and how they intertwine with scientific knowledge and nursing practices to enhance patient outcomes (Yeter et al., 2015)        This is key in nursing writing services as described by Azamwriters
Theory–Practice Gap assignment
Patient centered Care Research This is the care that is respectful of, and responsive to, individual patient preferences, needs and values, and that ensures that patient values are the guiding principles to all clinical decisions (Jayadevappa, & Chhatre, 2011)      
Theory–Practice Gap in Caring Science This is the science that encompasses a humanitarian and human oriented caring processes, phenomena and experiences. It incorporates both the art and science of nursing while utilizing philosophy, ecology, philosophy, mind, body and spirit      
Supportive Care Practice This is a special type of nursing care given to patients and families facing serious illness by supportive care nurses to providee extra layer of support along with the usual treatment (Hui et al., 2013).            

           Theory–Practice Gap by Watson’s theory of human care was chosen in this scenario. The core of this theory is that human beings cannot be treated as objects because they cannot be separated from self, nature, others, and the larger workforce. This theory encompasses the whole world of nursing, with emphasis on the interpersonal process between caregivers and care receivers. It focuses on the centrality aspect of human caring and the caring-to-caring transpersonal relationship and its healing potential for both the caregivers and care receivers (Yeter et al., 2015). Patient-centred care is the research that has been chosen in this scenario. This is the care for patients and their families in meaningful and valuable ways to individual patients. This care entails listening, informing and involving patients in all the clinical decisions regarding the care process. In other words, it can be considered as the type of care that respects and responds to individual patient preferences, values and needs while ensuring that the patient values guide all clinical decisions. Patient-centred care is guided by eight principles: respect for patient values and preferences, coordination and integration of care, information and education, physical comfort, emotional support, the involvement of family and friends, continuity and transition, and access to care (Jayadevappa & Chhatre, 2011). The practice guideline chosen is supportive care practice.  Supportive care is a care practice whose aim is to improve the of life patients facing serious or life-threatening conditions. The goal of supportive care is to prevent patients in the early stages when the symptoms of the disease are at the early stages (Hui et al., 2013).

            The three pillars in this scenario (Watson’s theory of human care, patient-centred care research and supportive care) have a close relationship and play an important role in shaping supportive care practice. The relationship between these three cornerstones are reciprocal and cyclical (Latham, 2012). it is through the supportive care practice that patient-centred research questions and knowledge for Watson’s theory of human care were generated. Patient-centred care research has been guiding supportive care practice and building knowledge through Watson’s theory of human care development. On the other hand, Watson’s theory of human care has been guiding patient-centred care research and improving supportive care practice.

            Each of the three pillars (Watson’s theory of human care, patient-centred care research and supportive care) plays an important role in supportive care. For instance, Watson’s theory of human care has been providing foundational knowledge of supportive care concepts to enable nurse practitioners in the field to know the course of their actions. This has been helping nurses to articulate evidence that justifies the methodologies behind their practices. On the other hand, patient-centred care research has helped nurses to determine and improve supportive care. It has also helped nurses to respond to changes in the supportive care environment and government regulations.

            There are two main gaps in Watson’s theory of human care and supportive care practice. Watson’s theory of human care lacks relevance in today’s supportive care practices. Due to the acuity of illnesses that require supportive care, following Watson’s theory has proved impractical. This is because Watson’s theory continuously focuses on the “spirit” and does not emphasize on physical entities of individuals. There is also a gap in Watson’s theory and supportive care practice because the level of care it calls for is impossible in a supportive care environment where there is high acuity of illness and an increased level of technology that limits the time spent with the patient.

            There is a challenge when one of the three aspects (Watson’s theory of human care, patient-centred care research and supportive care) is lacking. For instance, the absence of Watson’s theory of human care would make it a challenge to design patient-centred care research questions and guide the selection of relevant data. Therefore an error margin of patient-centred research that does not use Watson’s theory should be big.

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