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Tradition to Evidence Based Practice You are the nurse caring for Mr Smith who has a diagnosis of neutropenia The family brings him an arrangement of live plants A sign on Mr Smiths door lists precautions one states no live plants The family asks why and you explain that the soil has bacteria and due to Mr Smiths low white cell count he is susceptible to infection The family wonders how the bacteria in the soil can cause an infection You tell the family that this practice is a precaution to protect the patient The family is satisfied with your answer However their question of how has left you questioning the rationale for no plants in the room Nursing knowledge is acquired through several means tradition authority borrowing trial and error personal experience role-modeling and mentorship intuition reasoning and research Burns and Grove 2002 Many nurses base their practice according to ritual and tradition without questioning the validity of what they do Nurses would agree that providing the best quality care to patients results in positive outcomes But what is the best care and how do we know that our interventions are current and beneficial This paper will explore the developments of nursing knowledge and nursing research that has brought the profession to where it is at today Nursing research is not separate from nursing practice it is a process that is interconnected with is influenced by and influences other nursing components These are philosophy knowledge science theory research abstract thought processes and nursing practice Burns et al 2003 Theory Development Nursing Theory links nursing knowledge to research and nursing practice Dennis 1997 defines nursing theory as a set of concepts and propositions derived from philosophical beliefs about the phenomena of interest to the discipline relationships between concepts and propositions of a nursing theory purport to describe and explain characteristic phenomena of interest to nursing Dennis1997 p2 Nursing history is laced with nurses who have
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