Nursing Paradigms and Theories: A Primer
Repository Posting Date2015-01-26T14:57:34Z
Author(s)Jackson, Jennifer Irene
Author DetailsJennifer Jackson, RN BScN Honours,
Lead Author Sigma AffliationPhi Gamma (Virtual)
Level of EvidenceOther
MeSH HeadingsPhilosophy, Nursing
A nurse’s philosophical outlook influences his or her daily nursing practice. This outlook includes paradigms and theories, which reflect a nurse’s values, and exert significant influence over nursing practice. There are three major paradigms within the nursing profession: empiricism, interpretive, and critical social theory. Each has unique tenets, and contributes to the profession and discipline of nursing in a different way. Pragmatism is also an important philosophical consideration. Pragmatism furthers the discussion about the best approach to take in nursing practice. The purpose of this article is to describe each major nursing paradigm, demonstrate the connection between nursing paradigms and nursing theory, and use case examples to illuminate the contributions of pragmatism to nursing practice.