Topic: Philosophies and Theories for Advanced Nursing Practice

Reflective Journal Week 5

Topic: Philosophies and Theories for Advanced Nursing Practice


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Course objective:

1. Examine disciplinary influences on nursing inquiry such as biology, medicine, psychology, sociology, and philosophy, among others.

2. Evaluate the application and adaptation of borrowed theories to nursing practice.

Discussion Question: 5 DQ 1

Learning theories have implications for advanced practice nurses outside the classroom. Share an example describing the application of learning theory or theories to develop a program targeting change to a specific organizational issue, patient lifestyle, or specific unhealthy behaviors.

Nursing education is essential to equip professionals with appropriate skills and competencies in line with the changing demands. In this regard, learning theories offer important guidelines for planning of an educational system within the clinical training. Two important areas highlighted in any theory include a change of behavior and talent development. Overall, the stimulus and responses emanating from clinical training should be aimed at improving the skills of clinical professionals. Health professions also need to show the regular use of theories and clear reasoning in educational activities, interactions with patients and clients, management, employee training, continuing education and health promotion programs, especially in the current health care structure.

For example, behaviorists underscore that learning should be a continuous process: the process should aim at achieving the needs that arise in the course of time. DeCoux (2016) observes that regular training of clinical workers is appropriate at all times as the latter reinforces positive behaviors. For instance, poor work relations and productivity among the clinical workers can be enhanced through training. The process also offers practical skills that are not normally taught in the classroom environment. Moreover, such a training program is created with great consideration of the specific needs and organizational interests. The trainers are given an opportunity to understand the needs of workers in a manner that influences the formulation of tactical human resource strategies.

In the same vein, clinical training is critical in talent development. The move allows administrators to assign duties according to the skills and qualifications of an individual. The process is helpful to enhance productivity and positive performance among the workers. Hessler & Henderson (2013) recognize that learning for nursing professionals should be interactive where their participation is paramount. Through this form of training, workers develop a better way to relate and connect with one another. It is also noteworthy that the clinical environment is changing by the day with new needs and dynamics that different approaches to offering to the right interventions. Therefore, clinical administrators need to promote continuous practical training among the staff.

Learning intends to describe, explain, or predict how learning occurs. There are four theories are widely recognized: behaviorist theory, cognitive theory, psychodynamic theory, and humanistic theory. Healthcare data suggests that designing programs around learning theories enhances their success. Behaviorist Learning Theory focuses on what is directly observable in learning—stimulus conditions (S) and response (R) to them. Learning is based on associations between stimuli and responses, or the S-R model. Learning can be changed by modifying either the stimulus or the response. S-R associations are often followed by reinforcement. Learning is strengthened by practice that repeats S-R connections. Learners are passive and impacted by conditioning. The Behaviorist Learning Theory is useful in behavior modification programs and behavioral medicine. Criticism of the Behaviorist Learning Theory includes concerns about determination of desirable behavior, impact of rewards, and learning retention.

The Cognitive Learning Theory focuses on perceptions, reasoning, memory, development, and processing. Thinking and reasoning develop in stages over the lifespan. Individuals’ approaches to learning reflect their level of cognitive development and past experiences. Information is incorporated, organized, and interpreted in relation to what the learner already knows. In the Cognitive Learning Theory, learners are active and impacted by goals rather than rewards. Education is a social experience impacted by teachers and other students. Useful in clinical learning by rotation. Criticism includes concerns about unpredictability of learners’ minds and the exclusion of emotion and emotional intelligence.

Discussion Question: 5 DQ 2

Health behavior change theories suggest behavior change as a “process,” not an “event.” How can you put this into action for developing an intervention for practice or research? Discuss how you would apply this in planning your DNP project.

Health behavior is a concept that defines the human character in both general and personal spectrums. Several theories try to explain health behavior change in different ways. The basic is the social-cognitive theory that scans the surroundings which directly influences human behavior. It places behavior in the context of gradual changes relative to the changes in the surroundings that include the environment, the individual social interactions, and the motivation behind the course (Laranjo et al., 2014). Therefore, behavior change is a process where these influences gradually become part of a person’s life and finally completely transforming their perceptions and beliefs. Behavior change could actually be implemented through different mechanisms.

In the spectrum of behavior change, it is important to first understand the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation behind the idea. The candidates for the course should also understand that it will take time thus humility and patience will be essential. After identifying the motivations and the will to change a behavior, the first step will be making a plan where a person will indicate their preferred regular behavior and a time-set for their new practices (Prestwich et al., 2014). During this practice, the person should expect negative energy from their peers that is aimed at pinning them down. However, they have to maintain positivity and remain focused.

A DNP project requires high-level research and extremism in the topic which requires a certain type of practice and behavior. Usually, there is an array of distractions during these researches yet the project requires close to maximum attention. In that regard, a behavior change is important to gain focus and get rid of most distractions. For instance, one can indulge in practices that will help them collect more data for their project or just maintain consistency in reading patterns. Therefore, behavior change is considered the best course for a successful DNP project.

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