Nursing research, nursing theory and the nursing process Academic Article uri icon


  • In recent years, practising nurses and nurse theorists have shown interest in the development of conceptual models of nursing and nursing theory. As yet, however, there exists little agreement concerning the most appropriate methodologies to be employed in such an exercise. This paper identifies a number of strategies which might usefully be adopted for this purpose. In particular, it distinguishes between inductive and hypothetico-deductive approaches to the development of nursing theory. It further attempts a clarification of the relationship between conceptual models of nursing and theories of nursing, and explores the use of the nursing process as a research technique which combines both inductive and hypothetico-deductive commitments. Finally, it argues that the systematic use of the nursing process may identify a set of research procedures with the potential to facilitate the development of nursing theory using insights from both the direct experience of practising nurses and from existing conceptual models of nursing.

publication date

  • March 1986