Theory-Research-Practice Gap

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The theory-research-practice gap is multifaceted a long standing issue that exists not only in nursing but in other fields as well. As a nurse, it is imperative to understand the roles of nursing theory, nursing research, clinical practice and the integration of these three aspects of the nursing field. Insight into this gap can help advanced practice nurses improve their understanding of the future of nursing practice and their role in this theory-research-practice gap. Nursing theory is generally seen as a systemic set of interrelated concepts, definitions, and deductions that describe, explain and predict interrelationships (Rolfe, 1993). Research is generally seen as an amorphous entity with the purpose to generate knowledge (Rolfe,…show more content…
The interrelationship between theory, research and practice is a dynamic exchange of ideas. This author, among others in the field (e.g. Haigh, 2009), suggests that the theory-research-practice gap is necessary to lead to progress in the nursing field. The classical scenario is that a theory is postulated, research proves the validity of this theory and acquires knowledge, and then this information from both theory and research would be put into clinical practice. It should not stop there, the information from practice should also shape theory and research to further improve practice. Instead of a linear unidirectional relationship, the theory, research and practice interrelationship should be interwoven and multidirectional process to refocus the dissemination of knowledge. Though this current relationship is not perfect in any way, shape or form, there are methods that have been presented that suggest ways to make this relationship more efficient. There are three major approaches to the theory-research-practice gap: change educational practices, change research approaches, change attitudes of practicing clinical

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