Existence of Theory-Practice Gap in Nursing
Theory-Practice gap is a realistic and an existing aspect which affects people’s viewpoint concerning nursing profession. It is important to understand that nursing students go through rigorous training on various concepts and principles. This training enhances their theoretical knowledge which is the core basis for nursing practice. Most professionals have thorough knowledge which exists in theory than practice (Maben, et al. 2006). However, this aspect does not mean that nursing is a theory-based discipline. It is only that application of knowledge requires a wide range of exposure in the field. Note that the nursing profession has wide application and requires detailed theoretical training. When it comes to the application of this knowledge, it depends on the size and capacity of the health institution the nurse is working in. Professional nurse applies the knowledge depend on the demands of the market he or she is serving. In this case, it may not be possible to utilize all theories the trained nurse has in the course of his practice.
In response to the above situation, it is clear that nursing profession requires a wide exposure for one to utilize theoretical knowledge. It also calls for experience and relevant exposure for the fresh graduate to translate concepts into reality where he or she applies theories in real practice. Being a theory-based profession may not be true since these theories correspond with existing and emerging needs in the practice (Scully, 2011). One can only learn what is applicable and relevant in the field, thus making the professional practical-based as opposed to theory-based views. Existence of theory-practice gap appears when the professional serves in the limiting environment. For example, a healthcare organization may assign the fresh graduate to work in the maternity ward as a nurse. In such situation, the nurse only utilizes theories that are applicable in that environment, hence limiting the full utilization of entire theoretical knowledge.