NU 500 Discussion Question: Theory in Nursing Education

Discussion Question/Prompt 

Please review the McEwen and Wills (2019) chapter 22:  Theoretical Issues in Nursing Curricula and Nursing Instruction and complete the following steps for your initial discussion post:

Complete a library search for a peer-reviewed journal article that integrates nursing theory and nursing education.

Present the article and discuss the nursing theory used, the benefits of nursing theory in nursing education.

Discuss key considerations (curriculum design, and nursing curricula and regulatory bodies) for nurse educators in curriculum development

Be sure to supplement your discussion with personal and professional experiences.

McEwen & Wills (2019) explain how faculty members in educational institutions are beginning to incorporate a single, specific nursing theory or model into nursing curriculums. By utilizing a single theory, professors and students will be able to visualize a certain image or framework that they can relate back to their educational curriculum (McEwen & Wills, 2019). Newman (2008) explains how setting nursing models as the framework for baccalaureate nursing education could aid in the “identification of the essential knowledge of the discipline and strengthen the purposefulness of nursing knowledge in education and practice.” Thus, the faculty could adopt the theory in order to structure and organize nursing content in a way that aligns with the nursing theory (McEwen & Wills, 2019).

Berbiglia (2011) explains how Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Theory (SCDT) can be used as the conceptual framework in baccalaureate nursing education. Berbiglia (2010) explains how the SCDT can be incorporate into MSN programs as well. Norwood (2008) explained how implementing Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Nursing Theory in nursing curriculum guaranteed students have experience with selected incidents, and allow them to use certain experiences as an evaluation method instead of penalizing the students. The benefits of using Orem’s theory was that one group of faculty was able to achieve the goals mentioned above. Also, the students comments reinforced that the students realized the importance of the theory in simulations and debriefing. The key considerations are the curriculum design should focus on more reliable and safety-focused health care teaching methodologies (Norwood, 2008). Patient care should not be jeopardized as a result of implementing the theory into nursing education. The nursing design should follow the nursing theory in a cohesive manner. Content may be structured or organized based on such variables as location (e.g., hospital, clinics, community), developmental stage (e.g., infant, child, adolescent, adult, older adult), or physiologic systems (e.g., musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, reproductive) (McEwen & Wills, 2019). Also, the nursing curricula and regulatory bodies focused on seeking meaningful clinical experiences for students while utilizing a nursing theory-based curriculum – Orem’s theory of self-care in particular (Norwood, 2008). Thus, nursing educational institutions will be able to choose nursing theories that are most closely aligned with their values and beliefs.

As I progress through this class, I am starting to incorporate nursing theories into my practice. I typically precept many nursing students and new graduate nurses on my unit. Since starting this class, I always try to mention nursing theories to the nurses I am precepting and have them critically think on how they can incorporate such theories into their clinical practice.


Berbiglia, V. A. (2010). Interim report on Project funded by the Sarah E. Allison Foundation, Inc: Advancing the Introduction of the Self-Care Deficit Nursing Theory into Vietnam by Supporting the Scholarly Productivity of Vietnamese MSN Graduates of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Ho Chi Minh City and Teaching an Introduction to Nursing Theory to BSN Students. Self-Care, Dependent-Care & Nursing18(1), 26–27. Retrieved from

Berbiglia, V. A. (2011). The self-care deficit nursing theory as a curriculum conceptual framework in baccalaureate education. Nursing Science Quarterly, 24(2), 137-145. doi:

McEwen, M. & Wills, E. (2019). Theoretical basis for nursing (5th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 9781496351203

Newman, D. M. (2008). Conceptual models of nursing and baccalaureate nursing education. Journal of Nursing Education47(5), 199–200.

Norwood BR. (2008). The integration of a program of structured simulation experiences in a SCDNT based curriculum. Self-Care, Dependent-Care & Nursing16(2), 22–24. Retrieved from